Today is Labor Day. 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 previous statement was something I found on the computer. You know it’s a day off for workers and you know it’s the last summer hooray before Fall begins. Everyone celebrates this last weekend having family and friends over before life gets busy with school, ballgames, practices, band practices and you name it.
It is good to have a weekend to play, take some time off and just rest. Work is good for the soul so they say, but rest is so much better.
As I was thinking about this day some thoughts had entered my mind. In the last week or so I had two devotions that God had touched me with. He was in one of His teaching moments. Now Labor Day is upon us and I am realizing how the two go together. Let me share with you.
“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by.
Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in
full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate
Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible.
Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” Colossians 3:23 The Message
Okay here I need to add a confession. For as many years as I can imagine I have been making my husband’s lunch for him to take to work. Every night before I can go in and crash after cleaning up the kitchen after dinner (which often times my husband has cooked) I have to fix the coffee, make his drinks (4 bottles of water with Green Tea/Raspberry Packets added), a sandwich, chips and a breakfast bar. Most of the time I don’t mind, but those nights I am really tired, or have been out late for whatever reason the last thing I want to do is fix his lunch. Ugh! Often times when we are having a heated discussion I remind him of all the things I do for him. Then I am often reminded he works 48 hours a week just so I can have a nice car to drive, a home to live in and some modest comforts of life. Way to bring me down quickly.
If that isn’t bad enough I have wonderful God loving friends who have unfortunately lost their husbands and they quickly remind me I should enjoy doing it; they wish they could do it for their husbands once again. So I am reminded it’s not about me. Then God sends me two devotions and the above scripture just to hammer the point in. What would happen if I made a point of thinking about fixing his lunch as if I was fixing lunch for God? It says we are to do our best. What if I put my best foot forward a little more? What if I worked from the heart and not from feelings?
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Ephesians 6:7
“… And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who
happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good
pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8 The Message
Now according to this scripture I need to work with enthusiasm not dread. I am to work as though I was working for the Lord and not my husband. Work with enthusiasm? Really? I am tired, I am ready to crash and yet I am to go an extra mile and do it with enthusiasm. Then it tells me to do it with a smile on my face! I am to remind myself I am really working serving God. Ok, two devotions, two different scriptures and now Labor Day. I am beginning to get it are you?
It doesn’t matter what we are called to do in life; it doesn’t matter if you are doing your dream job or not and it certainly doesn’t matter what the pay is we are all called to serve one another with love, enthusiasm, and a smile on our face. I know people who have lost high paying jobs because of the economy and are now working menial jobs with less pay and they come in happy. Why? Because God has given them a job that helps pay bills; they are thankful for the work they do have.
I am the wife that often complains because I have to wait on him, or shut a cabinet door behind him or pick up his clothes (he’s doing much better with most of these things) or do whatever. If I am going to follow God and obey His commandments then my attitude about how I serve Him needs to change. I need to do it enthusiastically, with a smile on my face and as if I were doing it for God.
We may be stuck in a job we hate, we may think we deserve more, we may think we are being slaves to some master, but if we follow these two simple scriptures how much different our lives would be.
All God wants us to do is daily remind ourselves we are being His servants, to work enthusiastically, with a smile on our face and go the second mile. What if God came and asked me to fix His lunch, or shut a cabinet door, or pick up His clothes or do some menial task for Him? We all would do it wholeheartedly, so even though those we live with or work for might not be God, we still can do those things God has called us to do with a willing heart and a loving Spirit and a smile.
Labor….not work; just serving God enthusiastically, with a smile and going the extra mile.
Work as if God was the one you were working for or living with.
Now I think I am going to go fix my husband’s lunch with a smile, with enthusiasm, and maybe add a little surprise…
Dear God: You are awesome and you teach me on a daily basis, I just don’t always listen. Thank you for all those workers who work behind the scenes or go the extra mile. Protect those who serve you in jobs we often take for granted. Bless this day and may those who need rest not only find physical rest, but find rest in you. Amen