Week of September 1, 2019
Here’s hoping you are having a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and enjoying any celebrations you might have as we come to the end of Summer! Although most people see this weekend as just an extra day off from the grind of their regular paying job, we should also remember that work or having any project or job to do is a privilege, an honor, and a blessing from our God! As a wise, old retired priest once told me, “The only thing worse than having too much to do is having nothing to do at all!” He said this as he struggled to find his new role as a retired priest who was no longer tied down with all the stress and long hours as a pastor of a parish itself.
His comment reminds us to be thankful for all we do with our minds, hands, hearts and souls as we engage in productive work. We do this either by earning a living for our self and our family or simply volunteering to help other people out. In the Book of Genesis it says, “God looked at everything he had made, and He found it very good.” Work is good, since it is a share in the creative power of God! With work, comes a great feeling of accomplishment and self-worth as we complete a project or job and then look back to see what we have done. God wants that sense of accomplishment and self-worth in us! One reason I believe there is a rise in juvenile delinquency these days in our young people, is a lack any sense of self-esteem (also why so many get trapped in the addictions of social media) because they either lack opportunities to do work (something worthwhile) or they are not mentored properly by parents who are not patient enough to do so. Work is an inherent part of who we are and what it means to be Sons and Daughters of a working God.
This said, the Book of Genesis also says that on the seventh day, “God rested from the ‘work’ He had done…” It continues to say, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it, He rested from all the work He had done in creation.” What this means is that rest also is blessing from God! Whenever we are able to rest, take a break and enjoy the fruits of our labors, we are also reminded of our dignity as Sons and Daughters of God. It reminds us that we are not slaves to our jobs, but children of our heavenly Father who loves us for who we simply are.
Labor Day Weekend is a good reminder that in both work and rest we share in the mind and heart and spirit of our God! So, as you are sipping from whatever beverage you have in your “Red Solo Cup” and enjoying a well-deserved rest (and even if you have a few projects you have to get done) be thankful for your family, your friends, your co-workers, your volunteer opportunities and your job as you share in are building the Kingdom of God!
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl