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The beauty of simple hard work

World news reports that South Korea and North Korea are combining together in the Winter Olympics. With wars and rumours of wars battering our security, this was encouraging. Will this prove to be a simple foundation on which politicians can begin to reconstruct a major peace ?

I recollect the day, some years ago, when the Olympic torch was carried through Pontypool. What stays in my memory was the sight of our local street cleaner making a last sweep of the road, five minutes before the torch bearer arrived, so that nothing would impede the runner carrying the flame. Just possibly, the most important person in the event was... the street cleaner!

Listening to the cricket commentaries of the Test matches, again and again the condition of the wicket takes precedence over the skills of bowlers and batsmen. It sounds as if the most important member of the team is... the man who cuts the grass!

In Papua New Guinea the people speak 800 dialects. Much research, study, concentration and time is provided by a Wycliffe team to create and write each language. There was celebration when the Kasua tribe had their own printed books. But perhaps the key man in the team is Andrew, who is a small engines mechanic in charge of lawn mowers to keep air strips clear, and motor bikes in running order, so that the translators, (the experts! ) can move around and collate the necessary information. He is vital for the work to continue.

Jesus was a carpenter for 30 years, before beginning His public ministry as Saviour of the World. People listening to Him speak, and watching Him perform signs and wonders, said in amazement, "This is the carpenter of Nazareth." Jesus identified the vital importance of working with all our energy, whatever our work might be. No one ever doubted His credibility as a good and faithful -- carpenter. The Bible defines our ultimate accolade when God says, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord."

Consider these words by George Herbert

'Teach me, my God and King, in all things Thee to see,

And what I do in everything, to do it as for Thee. A servant with this clause makes drudgery divine, who sweeps a room as for Thy laws, makes this and the action fine.'

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