Advent devotion: Humbly accept

News | December 6, 2015

I believe it was evangelist George Whitefield who said, “I’d rather rust out than wear out.” It was my grandfather’s favorite saying.

In his early 80s, after experiencing a number of strokes and partial paralysis on one side of his body, Grandpa Bob was seen doing something truly remarkable. His large half-acre garden was located directly across from his home in a small town in southern Iowa. Since he was unable to stand for very long, he would balance on his cane and hoe to walk across to the garden. Once there, he would sit down, work his garden, and pull weed after weed. One day after working for hours in the garden, Grandpa Bob was too exhausted to get back to his feet. That’s when his “don’t rust out” mentality prompted him to crawl back across the paved street that separated his garden from home. He then crawled up his front sidewalk, and up the 8 to 10 concrete steps that landed him safely on his huge front porch.

Hard work was something that I learned early in my life to treasure. It propelled me through high school and college; and even prepared me to launch a successful business career. So, it is not surprising that the company with which I chose to spend more than half my business career focused on these same values. The three points of our business creed were honesty, industry, and service. The acronym was HIS, which I always related to.

Work was nearly my entire life’s focus until my wife and I attended a religious retreat called Cursillo, back in the mid-70s. Cursillo was really the first time that I was challenged to ponder the word grace and its meaning to me and my loved ones. And yes, I am still pondering it, because at times it still seems undeserved. Apparently my background sometimes still drops me back into a default position where hard work should win the day. Then I wake up and realize that all of the hard work in the world cannot buy me favor with God. I must only have faith and belief in God’s grace for me, and humbly accept it. That must be why the song calls it amazing!

Craig Hellyer and his wife, Lindy, live in Davenport.

One comment on “Advent devotion: Humbly accept”

  • William Sybesma

    December 6, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Really neat life lesson from your Grandpa Craig. Nicely done. Your Grandpa, and heavenly “Pa” are surely rejoicing. Thanks for putting faith into action at St. Paul.

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