"Did you memorize today's verse?" asked Shana. "This is the last week we can recite them for prizes."
Wilder scowled. "I hate memorizing. It's too hard."
"Don't forget to feed Bear," Mom said as she cleared the table. "Then go get ready for church."
At the mention of his name, the dog picked up his dish with his mouth and dropped it at Wilder's feet.
"Just a minute, boy." Wilder got up and went into his room. Bear picked up his bowl and followed, then again dropped it at Wilder's feet. "In a minute," Wilder said. He took a few seconds to halfheartedly study his verse. Then he went back out to put on his shoes. Once more, Bear dropped his dish. Wilder laughed. "You don't give up, do you, Bear? Okay, I'll feed you."
At church, Wilder tried to say his verse but couldn't remember much of it. The prize is probably just a pencil anyway, he thought.
But the prize wasn't a pencil. It was a trip to the city zoo, and Shana was one of the winners.
"It's not fair," Wilder said on the way home. "Shana gets everything!"
"Shana worked hard at that contest," said Dad.
"Right," said Mom. "She showed as much diligence as Bear did when he wanted breakfast."
"What's diligence?" Wilder asked.
"It's keeping at something and refusing to give up," said Mom. "Like when Bear wants breakfast or a game of fetch and keeps after you until he gets it."
"He doesn't give up," Dad said, looking at Wilder. "Why do you think it matters that we don't give up?"
Wilder paused. "Well, I know you won't say it has anything to do with the prize."
Dad smiled. "You're right. Though prizes are nice, the real joy we get out of working hard and doing our best is the reminder that we serve Jesus in all we do and He's making us more like Him."
Mom nodded. "It's not so much about what we do, but how Jesus is diligently working in us. He gives us the ability to work diligently so we can learn more about Him and how He wants us to serve others. Just like Bear knew you would put food in his bowl, we know Jesus will use our diligent work for His glory." Lenora McWhortenHOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you give your best effort in all you do? Remember that if you trust in Jesus, He created you to do wonderful things for Him. So be diligent in the work He’s given you and do your best, knowing that He’s diligently working on you to make you more like Him.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: Ecclesiastes 9:10 (KJV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your strength. (NLV)