Labor Day is an unusual holiday. Officially, it highlights the American work-force, yet we try to do as little labor as possible and most working people have the day off. It is not a holiday where people wish you a "Happy Labor Day" or you send out Labor Day cards to family and friends. We do not give corsages, decorate the house, or give Labor Day gifts. The florists and greeting card companies have not found a way to capitalize on this day. It is the final hurrah of the summer; a boon to resorts and tourist centers and a bad weekend for the Church because everyone wants to travel.
Like most things, Labor Day is different things to different people. To the factory or office worker, it may be a day off. For police officers, who must deal with extra-heavy traffic and alcohol abuse, it is a tough day. While I was farming, it was another day to feed and milk the cattle and work in the field doing things that allow no holiday.
Labor Day is an opportunity to think about our work and its rewards. Work is a very important part of God's revelation and will for people. Your work matters to God.
Surveys reveal that 65% of American workers are unhappy with their jobs. Many of them go to work because it is, "I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go." What they do seems to have no value or meaning; it is the same routine day in and day out. People dream of winning the Powerball and being set free from the need to work.
Instead of working to live, God created you to have a sense that what you do matters, has personal meaning and value. Your work is an exciting opportunity to partner with God.
I felt I was called and used by God during my 13 years as a dairy farmer and 5 years employed by Cargill. I feel called and used by God over the past 16 years as pastor of River of Life Church.
You may be thinking, "You do not know where I work. You do not know my boss. You do not know the people I work with." The Bible tells us about a man named, Daniel, who served God while working for a god-less king surrounded by employees who did not share his faith.
God delights in taking ordinary people and infusing them with extraordinary power. And when an ordinary person goes to an ordinary workplace, determined to be faithful to God, God can do extraordinary things through him or her. And God is glorified when that happens.
Ephesians 2:20 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
And oh, Happy Labor!