Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day

Did you grill hot dogs and burgers? Did you go camping? Did you winterize your cabin? Did you cut the grass and wash the windows? Did you watch football and go to church? If you have a family, perhaps it was a weekend to make memories for the kids that will last a lifetime. No matter how you celebrated the three-day Labor Day holiday, I pray it was relaxing and rewarding.

We celebrate Labor Day as a way to honor the working man with a three-day weekend and to give him -- or her -- a break from the day-to-day routine of working. This weekend is the unofficial end to the summer holiday. Starting the Tuesday after Labor Day, students return to class, stores gear up for Halloween sales, and resorts begin to change their signs to announce "off-season" rates. Labor Day marks the end of one season and the start of another.

As we stop and reflect on the role of work and rest in our lives, it's appropriate to remember the importance we put on earning a living. I would guess many of you reading this can say with pride you've had a job ever since you were a boy: pedaling newspapers, cutting grass, bagging groceries -- each providing a first entry into the working world. From there we took jobs that -- at one time or another -- distinguished themselves for how lousy they truly were. Surely each of us can remember the day we left a particularly dismal job and rejoiced in knowing we would never have to do that again!

There are other low points that go with working that can pass our way too. A few of us can remember the day we were called into the boss's office and asked to sit down. We listened and were stunned when we were told our services were no longer needed. Coming in very high on the emotional Richter scale is job termination for most people -- a veritable kick in the head that rattles one's confidence and sense of self-worth. With losing a job, we go through the stages of grief in the same way we would if a family member dies. Without a doubt money is important, but be sure to see your value beyond your job and paycheck -- even in these demanding times.

There is more to our existence than our occupations. We have a vocation - "a calling," if you will -- from God. We are called to be men of God, deeply committed to His Word and sharing His truths whenever possible. We are also called to be husbands, fathers, as well as Christian leaders in our family, our community, and our church. We do not find our worth in our paycheck, but in God's priceless Word.

As we come away from the celebration of our occupation, let us never tire of the joy of our vocation.

(For more about this topic check out Working For The Man Upstairs - Your Job... Your Calling... Your Life! from the Men's NetWork.)

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