Monday, September 5, 2011

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

"If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well."  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is Labor Day, a day that, ironically, means that many of us get a day off from work. It's a welcome long weekend to relax and enjoy time with family before the hectic pace of a new school year begins. For others, it's an opportunity to get caught up in chores and projects around the house. But maybe it can be something more, something deeper ~ especially for those of us who are blessed with a paying job. In a society where the unemployment rate is skyrocketing, maybe today is a good day to pause and give thanks for the huge blessing of a job and steady income. Let's face it ~ there are millions of people who would love to be given the chance to do what we do...work.

Today, I am grateful for my tutoring work. I know ~ I am not a full-time teacher, I am not making a lot of money, and I work with only three boys. As one friend put it, I could be in a public school enjoying a nice salary, benefits, retirement savings, and I could be reaching so many more kids. That's true...and it's just the right job for him; it's what he has been called to do. But can I do any less? I know I have been called to use this season in my life to give my time and attention to these three boys.

Not only am I thankful to have my tutoring work, I am also appreciating the fact that I am capable and free to do work that doesn't have a monetary gain attached to it. I am able to care for our home; I can cook our meals and run our errands; I can wash our cars and weed the garden. I can devote a big chunk of my time to my writing. I can extend a helping hand by bringing someone a meal or running their errands.

Work is a blessing! We often mutter and complain about it (at least, I do!), but if we are capable and are given the chance to work, then blessed are we! For those who are not so fortunate right now, my heart goes out to you. I know what it's like to need a job and not have one. I encourage you today to look for the hidden blessings in this season of your life.

My daughter spent the better part of a year looking for a job that she was educated to do. After visiting veterinarian offices in our area, she zoomed in on the one that impressed her the most. She diligently visited the office for a period of months, asking if any positions had opened up. One day she asked if she could volunteer a couple days a week. They eagerly accepted her offer. Within a month, she was hired on a part-time basis. Today, she is a full-time employee, working in an office she loves, with people she loves, doing what she loves to do.

I pray that this gives you who are looking for work some hope. For those of us who have work, maybe today should be a day of celebration...and not because it's a three day weekend. Today I am going to attempt to look at each little job I do around our house with a new sense of appreciation. Happy Labor Day to all!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people."  ~Colossians 3:23      

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