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The race is on !

July 2012 | by Doug Nichols

Soon after trusting Christ in my early twenties, I worked the night shift at a plywood company mainly with Hispanics.

We enjoyed each other whether we fought or not. I worked on an 8-man crew (four teams of two men on a team) that off-loaded huge crates of fifty 4ft x 8ft sheets of plywood from trucks. We would then unstrap each crate of plywood, inspect each piece and stack them into piles of 100 good sheets.

The stacks of plywood were then taken to another building to be painted for mobile homes. In an 8-hour shift, each two-man team would prepare two or three stacks of 100 good sheets ready for painting.

My team-mate was also a new Christian, and as we began to reach out to others with the gospel and do Bible study together on breaks, we began to be concerned about our testimony in this lazy, union-controlled work environment.


So we began to pick up speed and work harder. Soon we were doing four stacks of plywood, instead of two or three. The other teams also began to speed up, as they did not want to look bad.

The race was on, as each team began to race each other and still be careful of quality control. The amount of stacks increased. Soon it was three or four stacks by lunch, and eight or ten stacks completed on each shift, instead of the previous two or three.

This became a problem, as the painters then had to keep up and go faster on the paint machines. The union bosses then came in and made a fuss, but the management was so happy that they gave everyone a raise, extended our break and lunch times, and provided all kinds of amenities to the 250 workers.

Our company became the most productive factory in California!

As young Christians, this made a great impact on our personal life, as we saw the difference Christ made in the simple matter of stacking plywood for the testimony of Christ and the glory of God.

‘Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men’ (Colossians 3:23).

Doug Nichols
ACTION International

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