Do What You Can Do Well (Yarn)

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The class broke up, chattering loudly. ‘It’s all very well for you Tom,’ said Rob, “You’re good at things; you’ll soon make money with your R10.” “But I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do began Rob. “Nor have I – yet,’ said Gary. ‘I have’, said Gill. ‘I’m not much good at clever things, but I can cook, so I’m going to make cakes and sell them, and then with the money I get, I’ll buy more ingredients and make more. That will make the money we got grow into a lot.’ ‘I’m going to buy paper and paints and make pictures to sell,’ said Sue. ‘Oh well, you always were good at art,’ sighed Tom, ‘I’m hopeless.’

‘I suppose I could make wooden toys for sale,’ said Rob thoughtfully. ‘Woodwork is about the only thing I can do, and I know I’m not brilliant at it….but I don’t know. It’ll be a lot of trouble and I don’t have much spare time.’ The class had each been given R10 at the beginning of term with instructions to use what talents they had to make the money grow. ‘Some of you may not think you are very talented,’ Mr Smythe had said,’ but I know you can all do something, and I want you to use your talents well and to bring back the money you have made, plus the original R10 at the end of term.’ What’s going to happen to the money, Sir, asked Jeremy, who always wanted to know the details of everything? ‘Good question,’ said Mr Smythe, ‘Well, as I said, I shall want the money back, for it is only lent to you, but all the profits you have made will be given to Save the Children Fund. ‘Does it matter what we do?’ Sue asked. ‘No, as long as it is legal and honest and doesn’t hurt anyone else. In fact, I expect you’ll all do something different; the point is that

God has given us all different abilities and we can all do something. Now off you go – and get working!’ The next day was Saturday and most of the class began their work in earnest. Gill had started her cooking with some simple little cakes. Sue began her painting and had finished her first small picture that evening. Her aunt would buy it, she hoped for at least R12. Tom decided he’d garden for people. He bought a small spade, which cost rather more than the R10, but his father paid the difference – provided I can have the money back from your first earnings. Tom went out to several busy people and helped to keep their gardens weeded and tidy. He’d buy a small fork next, when he’d earned enough money, for that would help him to get on more quickly. Jeremy bought some shoe polish and cleaned the shoes of family, friends and neighbours at R1 a pair. It wasn’t long before he had used up his polish and had to buy more. At the end of term the class gathered around with their profits in their hands.

‘What a variety of talents you have,’ smiled Mr Smythe ‘cooking, painting, gardening, shoecleaning, car washing. We’ve got R250 so far, shouted Jeremy who had been counting the money as it came in. ‘He’ll make a good accountant one day” laughed Rob.

‘And what about you, Rob asked Mr Smythe. ‘What did you do?’ Rob went rather red, ’Well Sir, I didn’t actually do anything, but I kept the R10 safe and here it is.’ There was a surprised silence in the room. ‘Why didn’t you try to do something with it?’ “Because I’m no good at anything,’ muttered Rob, I’m not clever like the others.’ ‘Now that’s nonsense, you know,’ said Mr Smythe gently. ‘Everybody can do something, it’s just a question of finding out what it is and not giving up if you don’t get it right first time.’ “He’s not bad a woodwork, Sir,’ put in Tom. In fact, I thought he was going to make some little toys.’ “I’m not that good – and I didn’t like to try, said the unhappy Rob. ‘But you will never get good if you don’t try,’ reasoned Mr Smythe. ‘Our talents may often seem quite small to begin with, but God has given them to us for us to develop for the good of His Kingdom. “Well, all the other results will do that if they help Save the Children, won’t they Sir?’ said Jeremy.