Happy Labor Day! [And Thank You!]

Happy Labor Day! Today is a holiday that celebrates the hard work and ingenuity of the American worker. It is a national holiday in honor of the people who go to work every day, whose efforts are vital to keeping our nation running. It honors every worker, not just the ones who have high salaries and upwardly mobile careers. To me, Labor Day reminds me that there are thousands of people who go to work every day and do menial jobs no one wants to do so that we can live comfortable lives.

So today I say “thank you” to the people who pick up our trash, and who work at the county dumps taking care of all of the broken, unwanted things we throw away without a second thought. I say “thank you” to the men and women who keep the electricity on and the natural gas flowing so I can get up while it’s still dark and enjoy my early morning cup of coffee in a warm house in the winter. I say “thank you” to the men and women who run our city sewage system; I’ve been to places without the convenience of an American-style toilet, and trust me, it’s not fun. I say “thank you” to the people who get up far too early or stay up far too late so that when I run down to Ingles at the last minute, I can almost certainly find what I need but forgot to plan for!

I say “thank you” to the people who labor in manufacturing plants, assembling the things I take for granted, like a refrigerator that keeps my food fresh and soda perfectly chilled, and a car that reliably starts when I want to go for a drive. I say “thank you” to the people who run giant printing presses so I can go to the library and check out a book that takes me places I’ll never see and introduces me to people I’ll never meet. “Thank you” to those who make it possible to walk into a bookstore or go online and pick out a new Bible that brings me hope and encouragement every single time I open its pages.

“Thank you” to the person who cooks my food and brings it to my table and makes sure the silverware is spotless when I go out to eat. “Thank you” to the brave souls who crawl around in crawlspaces and make circuits in and around my house with chemicals in hand to keep the “creepy crawlies” from freaking out my house guests. I say “thank you” to the people who assembled the furniture I sit on, weave the carpet that greets my feet on a cold morning, and nailed the shingles on our roof that keep us warm and dry.

I would say that most of you reading this enjoy similar comforts and like me, you rarely give a thought to the work and ingenuity that went into making our lives easier. Perhaps some of you live in other countries that aren’t as developed as America, but you too can think of the many ways that you benefit from the labor of others.

I’m blessed to live where I do. I love the incredible diversity and uniqueness of America. Right now, it seems we are spending a lot of time pointing out what we don’t like about each other, but I hope and pray that we will see the foolishness of wasting our lives wallowing around in what’s wrong. Today, I celebrate and say “thank you” to all the hardworking individuals who get up every day and go to work to put food on the table and keep the lights on. May we all work hard for the things that really matter and use the gifts God’s given us to encourage and lighten the load of others.

Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

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