I was visiting a good friend and, as we passed through the garage into the house, I saw a poster sticking out of a box that read, “All good things come to those who…hustle!”
If you’re like me, when I started to read it, I finished the sentence in my mind: “…come to those who wait.” I wasn’t expecting the word hustle. But after I laughed and thought about it, the more it resonated with me, given my experience and those of others I know.
I believe it was Arnold Palmer who said, “It’s funny, but the harder I work the luckier I get.” Now, for the Christian, “lucky” is not a place we go; but working hard has a lot to do with being effective and fruitful.
One might be inclined to think that as a Christian leaders we should either wait (on the Lord) or “hustle” (on my own). But I think it’s both/and–not either/or.
I can, and should, hustle while I’m waiting. I don’t think “waiting on God” is a passive posture, but more a mindset and it’s perfectly biblical to do both. Sort of like peddling a bicycle with both feet at the same time.
A number of years ago I was chatting at church with a young man who was out of work. I asked him how his job search was going and he told me that he wasn’t actually searching but rather was “resting in the Lord.” I told him that there very well may be a difference between resting in the Lord and “sleeping in the Lord!”
Two girls were walking to school and realized they were probably going to be late. One said to the other, “Let’s stop and pray and ask God to help us get there on time.” The other one responded, “Let’s run and pray and ask God to help us get there on time.” I’m not sure we are always doing the right thing when we ask God to do something for us that He has asked us to do.
There are quite a few “Hustle” verses (ESV) in Scripture. Here are three that come to mind:
“But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.” Numbers 14:24
“And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” 2 Chronicles 31:21
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23 (emphasis is mine)
Brad Lomenick and Mark Burnett wrote an exceptional book on leadership titled, “H3 leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.” It’s a great read and I learned a lot. Hustle might very well be the missing component in a lot of leadership today.
It’s a delicate dance in determining what God’s part is and what our’s is in any undertaking. Proverbs 3:5,6 encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. It doesn’t say don’t use our own understanding, but not to lean on it. There’s the balance; trusting God as I use my understanding and hustle to the glory of God.