Working for what we want

Coffee Girl

Renae Brumbaugh is a bestselling author, award-winning humor columnist, and freelance writer.

Renae Brumbaugh is a bestselling author, award-winning humor columnist, and freelance writer.

Have you ever been to WalMart with a five-year-old? I have. It’s been a while, but my five-year-old was a man who knew what he wanted. He wanted a cookie from the bakery. He wanted Spiderman stickers. He wanted the cereal with the marshmallows in it. He wanted a new skateboard. And he wanted a tent, to set up in our living room.

Oh. And gummi bears.

He was not afraid to work for what he wanted, either. He had a strategy, and he was diligent to pursue his goals. First, he’d sneak whatever he wanted into the basket. Then, when he got caught (and he usually got caught), he entered into a stirring oration, listing the profuse benefits of said item. When that didn’t work, he resorted to name dropping. “Poppy told me I could have anything I want. If you don’t get it for me, he will.”

Next, he appealed to my vanity. “Mommy, you’re pretty. I love you. You’re the best mom in the world.” Finally, like any good politician, he made promises. “If you’ll get this for me, I promise to keep my room perfectly clean forever and ever.” (Now, over a decade later, I can tell you that didn’t happen.)

What would you say if I told you that you can have anything you want? Yes, you. The one holding this newspaper.

It’s true. You can have anything you want! Well, maybe not anything. But many of our desires are within our reach, if we’re willing to work for them. My problem is that I’m really good at wanting, and not so great at working!

I can think of a whole list of things I want. I’d love for my living room to be painted, but I hate to paint. I’d love to have a tone, fit body. But I really don’t like to sweat! The list goes on and on.

It’s important to remember that, while we can have almost anything we want, we can’t have everything we want. I want to be thin. I also want to eat a large serving of chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, with a generous hunk of chocolate pie for dessert.

Every day.

Twice a day.

Weekends too.

I can’t have both! So I must choose those things that are important to me, and work for them.

As a rule, diligent people are successful people. When we work hard, we have doors of opportunity opened to us. If we don’t get distracted, and keep working toward our goals, there’s a good chance we’ll be successful.

So I will learn from my former five-year-old, and will not grow weary in pursuing my dreams. I will buy that can of paint. I’ll make time to exercise. I will try to only eat chicken fried steak on very special occasions. (I can find something special about every day of the week!) I will set my goals and work hard for them.

As for my now-18-year-old son, I’ll buy him some gummi bears. He can have them as soon as his room is clean.

Proverbs 13:4 “ The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.