A Right Smart of Work
by Diana C. Derringer
(Colossians 3:23 NIV).
The expression “a right smart” has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence. Rather, it means a large amount which one can possess, give, do, or receive. If I own a right smart of something, I have a lot. I enjoy a right smart of cousins and international friends, whom I love. I can also use the expression to describe my abundance of allergies, which I don’t love and wish would go away with each “bless you.”
But from my overflow of blessings, I can give “a right smart” to others. I have opportunities to offer generous amounts of hugs (albeit virtually during COVID-19). I can provide a lot of children’s books to new parents. I’m also able to give to organizations that help the needy.
As it applies to what I have and give, the expression also refers to the effort required to fulfill my wordsmith’s calling. Writing requires a “right smart” of work. I must research and comply with publishers’ guidelines. Otherwise, my manuscript ends up in a rejection stack, replaced by ones tailored to the editor’s expectations. Writing and rewriting add to this abundance of work. Writing is fun. Rewriting, not so much.
Writing also provides a right smart of rewards. Writing offers respite from life’s struggles. Immersed in stringing all those words together, the rest of the world floats away. Although few writers become wealthy, pay can offer financial and emotional pick-me-ups. While God supplies every gift and God deserves all the credit, the recognition of seeing my name in print encourages me. I enjoy the privilege of giving others a bit of spiritual insight, a nugget of truth, a moment of laughter, joy for their journey, a reminder they’re not alone in this often-lonely world.
A generous Creator shapes us into his image as generous with blessings. A right smart of giving and effort yield a right smart of rewards. As writers, applying the art of paying forward our gifts with discipline will pay off.
Thank you, God, for giving me a right smart of blessings. Also, thank you for the opportunity to share your love through written and spoken words. Please help me to work at my craft with all my heart. Amen.
Diana Derringer, a former social worker and adjunct professor, is an award-winning writer and author of Beyond Bethlehem and Calvary: 12 Dramas for Christmas, Easter, and More! Her articles, devotions, dramas, planning guides, Bible studies, and poems appear in more than 40 publications. Her radio dramas for Christ to the World Ministries broadcast into several countries. Visit her at dianaderringer.com.
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Reprint Rights: A version of this piece first appeared on Diana C. Derringer’s personal blog on 11-27-17 as A Right Smart of Work
(Words, Wit, and Wisdom: Life Lessons from English Expressions at https://dianaderringer.com/a-right-smart/) and also appeared on Almost an Author on 3-29-18.