For many, they get a day off work for Labor Day, but very few actually stop to consider why they get the day off. Others, like most of us in the community news field, will be laboring on that day.
In today’s world, we see many who do not or won’t work and expect the government to take care of them. Then there are many who are looking but can’t seem to find jobs. My Granny would be heartbroken about today’s attitude about work.
Working the farm, I’ve heard the stories about how she gave birth to one of my aunts or uncles and kept right on working in the field. She was definitely one tough lady. I sat on pillows for two weeks and groaned every time I walked.
Even in her late 80’s she could outwork most men I know. She expected her grandchildren to work whenever we stayed with her too. If we ran out of things to do, she would always come up with something, even if that was just sweeping the yard. I never did understand what the purpose of sweeping the yard was for, but if Granny said to do it, we did. I disliked churning butter because not only was it labor intensive, it was time intensive in that you couldn’t leave it and it took what seemed like forever.
I certainly knew first hand why my father was a workaholic, a trait he also passed down to me. I have slowly, though, over time, learned to realize there must be a balance between work and everything else. Sometimes, due to the demands of work, that is still hard for me.
Labor Day first became a national holiday in 1894, the first Monday in September to celebrate and appreciate the American worker and their work. Federal employees and others enjoy the day as a holiday, giving them a day of rest to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
For the majority of us, if we want to continue having a house over our head and food to eat on the table, we feel must work but we shouldn’t look at it quite this way. I’m thankful to the farmers who sometimes work seven days a week to get that food to where it needs to be for us.
I’m also thankful that I get to go to work and do something I enjoy. Yes, some days are trying and at times the hours can be long and involve weekend work but overall I enjoy what I do. With so many out of work, if you do have a job, appreciate it.
The Bible tells us to work with all our might. (Ecclesiastes 9:9b-10). In Colossians 3:23-24 it also tells us “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
I try to remember that one, especially when dealing with difficult or trying people.
I’ve heard people say things like they wouldn’t do certain things. But I was always told that there is no job below dignity as long as it is honest work.
I have found that your attitude about the work you do has a lot to do with whether or not you enjoy it. If you convince yourself, you don’t like it, then you won’t. Looking at is as if you are working for the Lord, puts it in a different perspective.
We were meant to work. God put Adam in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. This Labor Day, we should celebrate work and appreciate the work we do more.
My grandmother was always saying that idle hands are the devil’s work and if she was awake, you would most likely find her working at something. A rare things these days as people complain too much about working, so much so they forget to enjoy some things about the work. Work, you see, isn’t just about making a living as those in society who lust for material things would have you believe. For one, it keeps us busy and from being bored. It gives us a sense of who we are and makes us be productive. It helps us provide for our families. Depending on the work you do, it can provide a creative outlet where you can express yourself.
For me, being a journalist, helps me contribute to the community by keeping taxpayers aware of how their money is being spent, or the good that happens in the area. Work can bring fulfillment, even if that is staying home to raise your children. It fuels my passion for making a difference in some small way at times.
We shouldn’t look at it as something we must do and we shouldn’t be working so we can have more and more meaningless things in our lives. If you look at your work as only a means to a paycheck, you certainly won’t have any fun along the way. Yes, we do want to get paid but we have to look beyond the obvious to enjoy what we do for a living.
I’ve had good and bad supervisors throughout my life and the good ones, the ones who care and are compassionate and let you breathe as you do your job, are the best ones. They allow you to be engaged in your work. But through it all, I’ve tried to find something positive in each situation and to learn from them. I try to remember, no matter who I’m working for, I’m really working for God and keeping that perspective makes each day of work better.
Yes, there are some days, I lose that perspective, but we all can have some bad days. We just can’t wallow in them. Let’s celebrate the work we do this Labor Day.© 2016
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org