Ann Farabee column: Get to work!

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 26, 2022

By Ann Farabee

It was 1972. I had just graduated from high school and had been offered summer employment at Cannon Mills. I would be a twister in No. 7 spin. I was ecstatic!

The fact that it was third shift did not deter me. I was going to be earning a ton of money that summer — or at least it felt that way.

Shortly before the 11 p.m., mill whistle would blow, I would find a parking spot, take a deep breath, and head in through the guarded gate that would soon shut behind me.

For five nights a week, I would remain there until 7 a.m. My days were short. My nights were long. Summer break was definitely not a break. The twister room “loomed” large with row after row of huge, loud machines. The sound was deafening, but it was muffled by my required earplugs.

For the entire eight hours, I focused on my work, although I knew the rest of Kannapolis was sleeping. My role was to tie up threads that broke and to replace spools that needed to be replaced. I loved the challenge of walking up and down the rows, keeping my machines running at 100% efficiency.

As daylight arrived, the mill whistle would blow again and I would walk out through that same gate, happily passing by those who were heading into work to begin their shift. I knew it was time for me to rest.

It was one of my most eye-opening and meaningful life experiences. Little did I know it was also a foreshadowing of the rest of my life.

During college, the jobs changed, but I still worked. Flipping burgers at the Snack Shack, cashier at Rose’s, a waitress at the Pizza Inn, and as an employee who knew how to do it all at McDonald’s.

Then, one day, I graduated from college and began my teaching career. The next 40 years sure did fly by.

Work, whether for a salary or not, is a beautiful thing.

Should we work? Did God work? Of course! God created all things. That was definitely work. But remember — on the seventh day, he rested.

What does the Bible say about work?

Genesis 2:15 tells us that God created man, put him in the garden of Eden, and told him to work. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 says if we are not willing to work, neither should we eat. It also tells us that we are to work quietly and earn our own living. Colossians 3:23 says that we need to work heartily, as for the Lord.

To work heartily means to work zealously, sincerely, earnestly, cordially and warmly. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful way to approach work?

And since we are doing it as unto the Lord, that makes God our boss. Our work is of God. It is a privilege, an honor and a blessing.

So, keep working, because work is worth it!

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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