Story by Joseph J. Mazzella (Author)
I grew up the “baby” of my family. I was the youngest of three sons. My brothers were five and seven years older than me and handled most of the chores that my Mom and Dad needed done around the house. I spent most of my time then riding my bike, shooting basketball, walking in the woods, or reading books by our stove in the Winter. To say I was a bit spoiled would be an understatement. I spent my childhood with all the fun and none of the responsibility.
By the time I entered my early teens, however, both of my brothers had moved out of our home. My Dad had injured his back and become disabled. We had moved to a mountain top house heated by a wood stove with only sulfur well water to drink. I soon found myself then doing more work than I had ever done before. I weeded our garden in the Spring and mowed our lawn in the Summer. In the Fall I carried and stacked wood to keep us warm in the Winter months to come. And all year round I hauled heavy five gallon containers of water from a mountain spring back to our house so we could have water to drink and cook with.
At first I grumbled and complained to myself. After a while, though, I began to find joy in helping my parents that I loved so much. I sang to myself while I stacked wood and smiled while I carried water. I even found myself helping my Mom with the dinner dishes and cleaning. I started to realize something that I would carry with me the rest of my life too: When your work is done in love, it isn’t work.
Let all of your work be done in love then. Let all that you do be done in love. Let all of your life be lived with love. God loves us all and God has given us this wonderful gift of life. The least we can do is work to make it the best, most beautiful, and most loving life we can.