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home : religion : inspirational reflections September 24, 2020

7/25/2020 12:11:00 AM
There Is No "D" In Irish

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC


What were the important lessons that you learned working on your first job? I had two jobs during my high school years, and I learned a number of lifetime lessons that stay with me to this day. My first job was a dishwasher at the Great Smokies Hilton in Asheville, N.C.

I learned what it was like to be the “bottom of the bottom” when it came to a chain of command in an organization. I didn’t mind being overlooked by the pot washers, busboys, salad bar experts, waiters and waitresses, line cooks, assistant chefs, as well as the executive chef. I decided to be the best dishwasher the Hilton ever had the pleasure of employing. It was during this time, I developed a love baking, which I still do till this day. It was time well spent.



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My second job was as a bagboy at Smith’s Supermarket in Columbus, N.C. Of course the title, “Bagboy,” meant doing anything my boss told me to do, from bagging groceries, taking them to the customers cars, stocking the shelves, sweeping the floors, filling up the produce department, working in the meat market, helping customers in the hardware part of the store, as well as cutting my boss’s grass when he told me to cut it. I loved it! I never considered myself too good to do any task.

I was fortunate that my boss and owner of the store didn’t mind doing any of these things either, so he trained me to do things just like he wanted them done. However, my boss was strict and would yell and scream at me if I did something wrong. You would think that a teenager would not like getting yelled at in public, but it didn’t bother me, because I rarely got yelled at for making the same mistake twice. I figured he wanted his store to look good and he wanted to provide great service to the customers, and I wanted the same thing.

Even though I was eager to work, I still had a “learning curve” when it came to how to do certain things. One day my boss was helping me in the produce section and he told me to go to the stock room and get a 50 lb. bag of, “Irish potatoes.” I quickly ran to the stock room, but I couldn’t find any, “Irish potatoes.” When I returned to my boss and told him we didn’t have any “Irish potatoes” he got mad, and told me he was sure we had them and to go back and recheck the stockroom. I went back a second time and looked even harder, but all I could find was a 50 lb. bag of “Idaho potatoes,” I couldn’t find that bag from Ireland. I loved those rare times when I could indirectly tell my boss he was wrong, so I reported back and assured him that we didn’t have any “Irish potatoes,” just some potatoes from, “Idaho.” I was expecting an apology, but he just got madder, and told me that “Irish” potatoes and “Idaho” potatoes were the same thing! He said a few other things I can’t write in this article, but I learned a lesson that day. Even though there is no “D” in Irish, I learned that Idaho and Irish were the same thing.

I have always heard, “You are never too old to learn something.” I would like to add, “You are never too young to learn something,” so be patient with people older than yourself or younger than yourself because we all should be willing to learn from any circumstance we find ourselves in. Today for an example, what can you learn from these troubling times? I believe we can learn to grow in our trust and love for God regardless of what is swirling around in our hearts and minds.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Humility will allow you to learn in the most difficult of circumstances, while pride will not allow you to learn in the most pleasant of circumstances. God can teach anybody who has the spirit to learn. I want to learn more about Him every day I live. What about you?

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!


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