As I think back to my teen years—now some 70 years ago—I recognize that very little has changed in the lives of teens. I see that some of today’s teens dislike expending effort as much as I did 70 years ago: we want title, admiration, prestige, degrees, good jobs, adequate money, and so on, all with little or no effort. And now as then, the unfortunate thing is that it can take several years for it to dawn on people that this “no-effort lifestyle” leaves them falling behind, eating the dust of all those others who are willing to expend effort in the pursuit of a worthy objective. The ones who do the necessary hard work to earn a college degree, make a decent living, and become financially independent eventually achieve their goals, while the “no-effort” types languish in frustration, unfulfilled.

To snap out of this “no-effort” lifestyle  (really just a lazy and irresponsible lifestyle) and join the ambitious, hard-working group is a challenge for the dust-eating one. But it is a step that must be taken if one is not to end up stranded in an unfulfilling life of poverty and envy. I know, because that’s where I was headed some 70 years ago.

So what saved me? Two praying parents and a compassionate God who lovingly let me experience for myself the consequences of my lifestyle—poverty, hunger, leaky shoes, no friends left to borrow from or bunk with, and no roof over my head—till I finally came to my senses and asked God for a job, which He gave me. This job, which the Lord blessed and to which I gave all my effort, eventually led to my own business and a very fulfilling life.

In the Bible we are given this direction: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might and all of your power” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). I discovered that when you obey God’s word, you have a good chance of receiving God’s blessing. It worked for me and it will for you too.