We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In this morning's news stories, BD linked to a discussion of what may happen should Tim Tebow and the Broncos win the Super Bowl. Outlandish talk, not just because of the religious/political overtones injected by the article, but also because the Broncos are a long way from the Super Bowl.
Most importantly, however, was the fact - and this is a fact many people following this story choose to ignore - that Tebow is winning not because of his religion or beliefs, but because of his hard work.
His fervent religious beliefs are intriguing and that's what makes him a great news story. He's different from many other well-known athletes in this respect. It's unfortunate that it's not his work ethic that makes him interesting. This may be due to the fact that so many great athletes work extremely hard. So I guess it's a surprise that he can have religion and work hard, too, that makes him different? Not according to his teammates.
And yet inside the Broncos’ complex, conversations about Tebow go on for half an hour without a mention of God or religion or their most famous player’s spirituality. The talk is instead about a man who is driven, who arrives early in the morning and leaves long after most of his teammates have departed. In college Tebow was famous for declarations of hard work but that seemed more about lifting weights and running sprints. Now that he is in the NFL, his diligence is in improving his throwing and studying opponents. The phrase most often attributed to him is not about God but rather, “Tell me how I can get better.”
--in Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan, all of human history turns out to have been set in motion by an alien repair crew trying to arrange delivery of a small but crucial spare part (something like a distributer coil or a set of carburetor points) from the home factory on one side of the universe to a spaceship broken-down on the other.
--substitute the entire history of the NFL for the repair crew, and Tebow for the spare part, and you have as good an explanation as any for our vague awareness, across time and space, of the home factory.
...carburetor points? How about carburetor jets, or a float...? You're forgiven, because most people under 70 wouldn't know a carburetor if they saw one, let alone recognize the parts (except of course the NASCAR bunch).
Many Christians believe that it shows honor and obedience to God to work hard. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23
So working hard and being a believing Christian are not incompatible. The good thing is that when you're working for God, He realizes you're doing it so you don't need to be downhearted when things don't always go your way. In other words, the reward is not success in the job but serving God. He's the real Boss.
And the reason you work hard is that you believe that God has put you in your job for a reason, to carry out His purposes even if you may not realize what they are at the time. As Mordecai said to Queen Esther when the Jews were threatened with extinction and he was urging her to plead with the King to stop it: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:12-14)
This all gets derided as "the Protestant Work Ethic."