Be a Good One


My paternal grandparents were towering figures of faith in my life. Humble and hardworking people, they lived life to love others and serve the Lord. My earliest recollections of Pop talking to me about anything and everything are burned into my memory. Topics like Jesus, the function of a fire hydrant, the clarity of the Delaware River’s water, his school days, and how to shuck a clam were all part of my canon of knowledge at a young age.

In addition to Pop’s intimations on a veritable potpourri of topics, he would give advice about working for when the time came:

“Whatever you do in life, be a good one. If you’re gonna be a dogcatcher, catch a lotta dogs.”

Admittedly, I’m not sure there are actually dogcatchers anymore, but you get the point. This is solid advice. When I think about it, I find a correlation between Pop’s advice and Paul’s advice in this scripture:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

-Colossians 3:23-24

I tell you with transparency that sometimes, I just don’t feel like it. Things like the unnecessary paperwork at school and the mess around the house make it easy to want to complain and slack off. And truthfully, sometimes I do. But then I remember Pop’s and Paul’s advice.

“Whatever you do in life, be a good one. If you’re gonna be a dogcatcher, catch a lotta dogs.”

Pop was “a good one” indeed. When I was a kid, he was a high school janitor and worked hard. He put forth his best efforts to clean that school. Chalky blackboards, littered hallways and brimming trashcans were no match for him. As a Pop, he was the best too. He spent time with us, took us on adventures, and taught us about the Lord. Now it’s my turn to be a good wife, a good mom, a good teacher. I strive to be “a good one” in all these roles.


Yet, there are many times I feel like my efforts are being directed at a thankless job, discouraging me and tempting me to give less than my best. It’s just less trouble to simply skate by, isn’t it? Maybe. But then a quiet voice speaks to me. “As unto the Lord” it says. The refrain of Colossians 3 echoes in my head and I am again convicted.

Pop gave his very best as a janitor, sweeping and dumping trash with pride. Nobody was even there to see him because he worked at night. But God saw it all. Without a doubt, he heard the refrain “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when he entered the presence of the Lord. I’m so grateful for grandparents who took the time to not only talk to me about excellence, but to model it for me as well. God help me to aspire to the same level of pride and responsibility, even when I am tired and discouraged.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: You’re Gonna BE Somebody: Fostering Vision in Children and Mayday! Parenting from the Edge of Summer

Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.

6 thoughts on “Be a Good One

  1. I love this post!! This is something easily forgotten, but needed to be remembered always. Thank you for sharing! Grandparents can offer some of the greatest advice, all while leading in example as yours. Reminds me of my own.

    1. Thank you Sammi! My grandparents had a huge impact in shaping me into who I am today. I am so grateful to them. 🙂

  2. Yes! This is one of my absolute favorite quotes. My mom always tells me this when I’m struggling to find meaning or purpose in my days. But the more I love this way, the more I realize that people really notice when you live out this mentality. They start to see bright lights in the middle of very mundane things. This is such important truth to live by ❤️ thank you for the reminder!!

  3. This is really encouraging for me. It doesn’t matter if I don’t achieve great things by the worlds standards. If I’m only called to do simple things, I just need to do them well.

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