A JOB IS A JOB
“Hi, ho, hi, ho, it’s off to work we go!” sang the
dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Another version that I’ve heard is “I owe, I owe, it’s
off to work I go!” And, there is some truth to that. Certainly,
one of the reasons we work is to be able to pay our bills and to buy
what we need to live. But working just to pay bills or disliking your
job can make going to work a real burden. And for many, many people
their work is a real burden that they must bear.
On the other hand, the seven dwarfs seemed to have a special blessing
– it appeared that they really enjoyed going to work. You just
can sense that in their song.
I have been truly blessed throughout my life. I have held many interesting
jobs and there have been very few days that I haven’t enjoyed
going to work. And one of the principles I’ve tried to apply to
every job is found in Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever you do,
do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
I learned early in life to seek the Lord’s will and leading to
find jobs. I’ve learned to do my best work, in all situations,
as His representative and to please Him. I’ve learned that whether
my boss is good or bad, I’m not working for the boss, but for
the Lord. And that has made my jobs more than just tolerable, but both
interesting and enjoyable.
The first job that I remember is cutting grass for my dentist, Dr. Charles
Eshleman, on Broad St. I also remember, about the same time, just after
moving to Lititz, that I went door-to-door selling greeting and Christmas
cards. I doubt that I earned much money doing this.
In junior high I began to umpire Little League baseball games. Then
I received my first “big break” when I was hired to keep
score for a men’s softball league. This led to writing articles
about the games for the Lititz Record Express. Soon this expanded to
writing reports about Little League games. By the time I reached ninth
and tenth grades I was beginning to cover all Lititz and Warwick sports
events. I wrote two regular weekly columns for the Lititz Record Express
– Spotlight On Sports and High School Highlights – until
I graduated from high school. I also worked for two years for a local
medical agency delivering surgical supplies in several counties each
night after school.
For two summers I worked two weeks at Mizpah Grove helping to set up
and tear down tents and prepare for Camp Meeting. Then for two summers
I spent five to seven weeks there in Allentown working in the camp store.
Here I learned valuable lessons in organization, sales, and handling
of money. I developed good friendships with many, many people and I
grew spiritually by attending the services. I also worked on the ice
truck selling blocks of ice to tenters each morning. Working here was
a very special opportunity, which the Lord provided for me.
At home my writing for the local newspaper expanded and for two summers
I worked fulltime for the paper. I covered all the local news, attended
meetings, wrote headlines, helped with layout of the pages, and even
After I graduated from high school I worked for two summers with the
Lancaster Sunday News in both the Lancaster and York offices. Again,
I covered all sorts of news and assignments and even had a chance to
take some pictures. I especially enjoyed the time I worked in sports,
in preparing the weekly TV Guide, and in covering the courthouse.
After my sophomore year I went back to the Lititz Record Express where
for that one summer I actually worked as acting editor and was responsible
for the entire weekly layout and production. This was a major responsibility
that I thoroughly enjoyed. For two weeks before I was needed in this
job I worked at a cemetery in Sunbury. Here I helped dig graves by hand,
fill the graves after burial, and cut grass. That was very hard physical
Though I was headed for a teaching job, I wasn’t done with newspaper
work. The summer after my junior year I worked for the Sunbury Daily
Item editorial staff. Then for 25 years I worked again for the Lancaster
Newspapers covering football games and some basketball games on a part
time basis. I covered many Saturday football games for Penn Manor, Donegal
and Columbia in particular. I enjoyed keeping stats and writing the
While in college I also worked as an assistant in the chemistry lab,
washing dishes in the dining hall, and serving as a dorm monitor. For
most of these four years I also traveled with the football and basketball
teams keeping all the statistics for Susquehanna and reporting them
to the NCAA. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of my college experience
and never thought of it as work.
After a summer of picking apples and cherries for Cherry Hill Orchards,
I began my 39-year teaching career at Penn Manor. I had four job interviews
– Hershey, Donegal, Elizabethtown, and Penn Manor – and
received a job offer at all four. It was a hard choice, but the Lord
directed me to Penn Manor and I never regretted this decision. I always
felt a call from the Lord to be a missionary in the public schools and
I think this calling helped make me content in this job.
For the first three years I served as a math teacher and then the Lord
allowed me to become department chairman. For the remaining 36 years
I served in similar positions and I ended my years there as the district
math supervisor for grades K-12. I also had special opportunities during
this time to serve as PR Coordinator, Computer Coordinator, TELLS and
Chapter I math coordinator (we won national recognition for this program).
I coached freshman, boys’ basketball (NBA star and Seattle Supersonics
owner Wally Walker played for me), boys’ varsity and freshman
track, freshman cheerleaders and I served as a timer, scorekeeper, and
track official. I advised the Berean Club and the National Honor Society
and served on many district committees. I have many great memories from
these 39 years at Penn Manor!
Over the years I had many additional part time jobs. I taught adult
education (GED), served as an adjunct math professor at Millersville,
tried to sell World Book, worked on the editorial board of Books In
Print, served for over 25 years as chief basketball statistician for
the PIAA, ran the clock for play-off games at the Farm Show Building,
tutored many students in math, served as a consultant for an Addison
Wesley geometry text, wrote SAT questions, and helped develop a computer
touch-screen mathematics program for ICS. What interesting experiences.
As a result of my work experiences, I urge you to seek the Lord’s
will in looking for every job. When you are in His will you will find
a job that is both interesting and satisfying. It may be challenging
but He’ll give you wisdom and direction when you “work for
And remember, money is not the measure of success (but don’t forget
to honor Him with your tithe). Being in His will is the true measure
of success. Work heartily and enthusiastically (don’t be a complainer
or a slacker like others) to please the Lord and hopefully you’ll
be able to sing, with a smile on your face, “hi ho, hi ho, it’s
off to work I go!”