|Posted on September 2, 2019 at 7:00 AM|
What kind of labor do you do?
Today is Labor Day in the United States. Ironically it’s a holiday, which means many people have the day off from work! People can take a break from their labors, and hopefully relax and spend time with family and friends.
Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.
Folks who participate in “The Great Minnesota Get-Together,” also known as the Minnesota State Fair, know that the fair ends on Labor Day. And most Minnesota schools resume classes after that date. So for many, Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer.
I suspect just about everyone reading this blog has labored at some point in their lives. They have studied in school, worked at a job or career, or they have managed and run a household or business. I was one of those people who did all three of these labors, and at one point I even did all three at the same time!
Labor is necessary. It takes work to grow and process food to feed our country’s citizens. Effort is needed to conceptualize and manufacture new things that make our life easier. And much coordination and juggling is required to raise children and keep a home from falling apart!
When we enjoy the work we do, it is so much easier! It seems to take no effort to do our labors, and we receive tremendous blessings from our work.
But sometimes our labor is a real burden. We may be stuck in a job that is not fulfilling, or we have found we have married someone who refuses to help with the children. Some people must juggle multiple jobs just to keep food on the table and then they may have very little time to relax. In these cases the labor becomes hard, and it’s challenging to find joy in our work.
When I was raising three children, holding down a job and completing graduate school, on may days I seemed to barely be keeping my head above water. Some days I was so stressed that I wanted to quit school, work, my family or all three!
It’s in times like these that we need to strive to remain positive and look ahead to our goals. We may need to regularly remind ourselves that our labor is truly helping us, to feed our families and to create a better world, even if we can’t readily see the results of our labors. For me, I had to turn to prayer, and focus on the benefits that each of my labors was providing.
As I look back on the various work I have done in my life, as well as the labors I do now, I can see that they indeed have blessed my life. My studies allowed me to get a better job. My various jobs put food on the table and allowed me to help my children get through their own schooling. My efforts to raise my three sons may not have been perfect, but those boys have turned out to be good people! And my current volunteer labors are making a difference in my community.
What labors are you doing right now? Can you see the blessings that those labors are having on yourself and on others? On this Labor Day, I invite you to celebrate your labors. And if you happen to be struggling with some of them, look to God for the strength to continue forward. I will pray for each of you that God will indeed bless your labors.
Have a blessed Monday!
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