Sometimes certain holidays go by and we don’t even consider the reason for the day. Labor Day is one of those for me. Sunday after church, I enjoyed having some of the local crew over for a cookout and swimming fun.
On Monday, since the adults had the day off from work, we went to Water Country and had a last summer blast before the older kids headed back to school. Spending time with family is one of the greatest joys of my life.
As I pondered the weekend, I thought about what Labor Day actually means. What do we celebrate on this particular holiday? I did some research to get the scoop.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday. (Source: US Department of Labor)
Work is a blessing. We gain purpose, meaning, and fulfillment from our work, and our jobs provide the needed resources to care for our families and pay our bills.
“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” Proverbs 12:11
“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
Hard work is not just for men. Consider the “Proverbs 31 Woman.”
“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Proverbs 31:13 & 17
I’ve had a variety of jobs over the years. My very first position was at a Home Health Agency my senior year of high school doing clerical tasks. Upon graduation, I worked as a bookkeeper at a bank. I’ve been employed as a restaurant hostess, cashier, data entry clerk, preschool music teacher, and various administrative positions. Most recently, writing a novel is my new career and one I enjoy more than any other I’ve done, even though I’ve not made a dime yet.
And the characters in my novel work. Amanda Wright is an event planner and volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate. Clayton Richards is a psychologist and also manages a homeless shelter with his parents. A resident at the shelter secures a position as a custodian at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.
Some may think labor came because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the subsequent curse. Not true. From the beginning of time, God planned for us to work.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
God Himself even worked.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2
According to God’s Word, laziness brings poverty and hardship.
“Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Proverbs 10:4
“Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” Proverbs 12:24
As you can see, work is good and leads to fulfillment as we live out the purpose God has planned for each of us. So, when Labor Day rolls around again, let’s remember what a blessing work is, and thank God for all those in history who worked hard to build our nation and make America the greatest country on earth.
Join the conversation. What jobs have you had in the past? What position has been your favorite? How has God blessed your work over the years? Did you know why we celebrate Labor Day?