Friday, September 08, 2006

Labor Day

I know it has been a while since I have written but there has been much activity in my life and work during the past couple of weeks. Dad is still in SICU and pretty much the same. His vital signs are good but he still thinks he needs the ventilator to breathe. He is breathing on his own, though the ventilator provides some pressure support to help expand his lungs when he inhales. I guess you could say he has gotten lazy by being so dependant on the ventilator.


Watching dad and his struggle to be weaned off of the ventilator caused me to ponder the significance of Labor Day, which was Monday.


Labor Day has its roots in the labor unions of the 1880’s and is celebrated today as a day of rest for the working man or woman. I believe that is appropriate; I mean even God took a day to rest after creating the universe. But what really disturbs me is the extraordinary number of people today that would rather not work. Or the ones that refuse to do a particular type of work. Or even worse, the high school teens that seek part time work with the expectation of a much greater than minimum wage pay rate. It seems that advent of technology has made us a nation of lazy people. We would rather take 5 minutes to pop a processed sandwich or dinner in the microwave than take an hour to prepare a home cooked meal. Or maybe go through the car wash instead of hand washing our car. Like dad, we want more help breathing in return for less effort. We want to be paid for NOT working or, we want to make more money by doing less work. I believe people in this great country have forgotten how to LABOR. Not very many years ago, entire families would work from daylight until dark to harvest the crops, feed the livestock, milk the cows, maintain the buildings and structures on the property, MAKE their own clothes, cook three meals a day, hunt for and preserve their meat, and a number of other activities. Some days were in excess of 14 hours of work and they still managed to have family time and spend time with their friends, And let’s not forget, they usually didn’t work on Sunday’s. They took God’s lead and spent a day of rest and time with God.


There are people in many countries that perform hours and hours of excruciating labor for only pennies per day and they still cannot feed their families or buy clothes. We have become a lazy nation. We don’t want to work more than eight hours, or do menial tasks, or do jobs we dislike, especially if they are only getting paid $5.35 per hour.  We don’t want to exert ourselves. We don’t want to excel at whatever task we have at hand. We choose to be average or less. Because of our choices and because of our laziness, we are being outclassed in many areas by other countries. Because we, as a nation, don’t have the work ethic of our forefathers, we fall behind in education, business ownership, market leadership, and many other areas. It is time we all learned the true meaning of Labor. Labor is a mother caring for her children and family; washing clothes, cooking meals, and cleaning the house just to name a FEW of the jobs a mother performs everyday and these may even include a job outside the home. Labor is a father building homes, programming, keeping the books for a company; whatever the occupation, he works diligently to provide food, shelter and clothing for his family. These men and women work hard to have a good life. They work even harder to maintain a balance between provision and caring with nurturing a good family life. The Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10b, “…that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” I believe there are many in this nation today that should be starving.


Take pride in your work even if it is cleaning toilets. Do your best at whatever job you perform and do it with enthusiasm. Quality work and attention to detail gets noticed and before long your $5.35 per hour is $25 per hour and even higher. Don’t be afraid to work hard to get what you desire. God will bless your hard work and maybe even ease the burden. Don’t fear LABOR; it is the basic ingredient for living a good and balanced life and it is the legacy of a strong nation.



Brad Walker

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