Nothing But Weeds?

“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds” Gordon B. Hinckley

Sit back and give that quote some thought. Once it processes it should make a lot of sense. When I was a child the grass grew like wild fire on the flat spot at the top of the hill behind the house. My father began to clear it and before long it was a beautiful baseball field. I played baseball throughout my younger years and that field was a crucial part in the development of my game. The imaginary fence was highlighted by tall grass, which wasn’t mowed in order to make it clear that any ball that reached it in the air was considered a home run.

Time moved on and before long I was buried in books. The college years passed quickly and the days of yesteryear presented me with a gentle reminder that weeds will bloom if you don’t take care of the diamond. One thing led to the next and before I knew it the baseball field on top of the hill disappeared. One weed turned into two and then the whole field was taken over by the invasive plants. My father had stopped mowing it after I quit playing baseball. The beautiful diamond was now nothing more than a cardboard square. It hurt, but I realized the events that had transpired reflected the changes of life.

After I graduated from college I returned home. Playing baseball had long since faded out of my life, but shooting archery became my passion. I could stand for hours in the lawn and shoot one arrow after another. The arrows glided effortlessly toward the target. More often than not they found their way to the center of it, which brought me a lot of joy and happiness. Archery allowed me to grow. It centered my mind and brought me inner peace. I found a passion that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It has allowed me to travel all over the country shooting in tournaments. I’ve also been lucky enough to go bow hunting from the Northeast to the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains. Archery became my life.

In order to improve I needed a good practice range. The diamond below the weeds still existed. It required a lot of work, but the diamond reappeared and a new archery range was built. Once again the weeds were gone. To keep the weeds from growing I put in a lot of work. I started shooting local tournaments before feeling comfortable enough to head to some regional tournaments. After tasting success at the regional championships and state championships I decided to jump into the big pond. Since I had become a big fish in a small pond I wanted to see if I could swim with the big boys who ruled the depths of the water. After finishing in fifth place at my first national event I knew I could compete on that level and the diamond remained.

Now, almost 20 years later, the diamond still exists. The hard work has kept the weeds from growing. Not only has my hard work helped, but my father’s hard work has brought him a record that still stands in the National Senior Games. All of his practice allowed him to shoot the third highest score ever recorded in his age bracket.

No matter what we choose to do in life hard work is necessary if we want to be successful. The weeds might not make their presence known for a while, but gradually they’ll take over and run rampant. Once they settle in the beauty of our work fades away and the hard work is forgotten.

Diamonds are forever. Don’t let the weeds overtake their beauty.

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