According to His Ability”
It was in 1957, 1958 and 1959 that my Daddy thought I should work as a hawker
in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Rodeo, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. See, Daddy could never
abide me being idle during the summer. No sleeping till noon or just horsing
around the neighborhood. I needed to do chores, clean the garage and shop, do
odd jobs for odd neighbors or something. There was time to play, but that was
usually after time to work.
So, the Rodeo came to town every summer and several boys were hired to be
hawkers. You would carry around a wooden box filled with popcorn, Cracker
Jacks or Coke-a-Cola, up and down the aisles of Rogers Stadium and hawk (yell
and sell) your products. Then run back to the wholesale trailer for accounting
The first night of the rodeo, the wholesaler would set up a trailer and we
would report to him to get our load. The wholesaler would “size up” the boys
and decide on our “load capacity.” The bigger boys, for example, might carry a
whole case of pop iced down into the stands. The smaller boys (like me) would
get a wooden box loaded with popcorn, cracker jacks or cotton candy. “Load
capacity” was arbitrarily decided by the “sizing up” of the wholesaler.
As a hawker with a lighter load, I could have felt demeaned and discouraged.
There was some temptation to be less zealous if you had less product. I was
not discouraged. See, I had my own advantage: I was a loud mouth. Hawking was
not just about inventory, but volume. (One old guy bought my entire load of
cracker jacks one year, just to shut me up!).
See folks, even if you are given less or perceive that you have less to offer,
you can do your best with what you have.
It reminds me of this: “…each according to his ability,” (Matt. 25:15). Do
your best with what you have!
By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 21.8; Ausust 2014