In 1894 Labor Day became an official federal holiday. Our nation sets aside one day during a busy year to honor American workers and their labor achievements. Pretty cool!
Long ago a man named Solomon wrote his own labor treatise. What is interesting about his take on labor (he calls it “toil”) is how work is connected to our creator. Listen.
“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil– this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” (Ecc 5:18-20 ESV)
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Solomon says, “This is the gift of God.” Getting up each day and heading to work is a gift from God. Laboring each week for our company and boss is a gift from God. The paycheck we receive at the end of a long week is a gift from God. Solomon grants us another perspective–a biblical perspective on our labor.
The great reformer, Martin Luther offered up his take on labor. “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
This coming Monday enjoy a very special holiday. Rest. But on Tuesday plant your apple tree. This, too, is a gift from God.