Labor Day weekend is fast approaching. For many, that simply means a nice weekend to pull-the-plug, relax and not think about work. Work appears to be a pain. It can be high stress for some, or absolute boredom for others. Regardless, the labor market has really changed since COVID. Early retirements have increased, downsizing has whacked many companies, there is work from home, flexible hours, higher wages and labor shortages like never before.
I am not an economist. I’m a retired minister. Why should I be concerned this Labor Day weekend? Better yet, why should you?
One reason for concern is, “work” has a bad name. So does labor. TGIF says it all. Also, money seems to catch the attention in the workforce but, as you know, money doesn’t buy happiness. Sure, it beats being poor. Yet, when one works—for the paycheck only—then both the work and the person is bought. Freedom becomes the issue, not work.
Another concern is where does the church fit into the Labor Day Weekend? Since I have retired from active ministry, I now sit on the side with 99% of the church. Sunday worship takes two hours of my time now—including breakfast and driving. What about the rest of the week?
This is where I now find passion as we walk out the doors, we are not leaving church. We are on the front lines living out our faith, doing whatever needs to be done, with excellence to the glory of God on Monday. It has never been so clear as it is to me now, especially in retirement, the connection between faith and work. Everything we do reflects our Christian faith.
Last week, we had a leaky faucet. I called a plumber as soon I noticed our water bill spiked. He came and cut-out a piece of drywall, repaired pipe, added a new faucet and it was a fixed. He told me to call the water company and let them know the faucet was repaired. He also reduced the bill because I was an annual subscriber for maintenance and I was over 65. I gushed. All he said was, “thank you, I want to make sure you are satisfied.” He was serious.
Next, I called the water company and explained the situation about the faucet and that the plumber fixed the leak. She was pleasant as she significantly reduced my water bill. I couldn’t have been more surprised as I said “bless you.” I swear I could see her smiling over the phone.
These two people like their work and they like to serve. Labor Day Weekend is a reminder of people understanding their work as a service to God. It is that simple. Here on the frontlines, the minute we walk out the church doors, it is time to connect our faith with our service to God. After all, it is here in the work, God enters our lives and shapes us according to His will. Work is no longer a pain. Get ready to serve in whatever God calls you to do.