Labor Day is the unofficial end of the summer across the country. However, it is the beginning of the best time of the year for those of us who live here.
The weather is warm, but not hot, the wind dies a little, the lake is still warm enough to enjoy, and we are beginning to see a few less visitors at all the local sites.
Labor Day is a celebration of the privilege and the freedom we enjoy in America to work and to choose the kind of work we do.
For centuries, men did what their fathers did and women raised children and managed the home front. In 1900, nearly 90 percent of men worked within 50 feet of where they lived. In 2000, 75 percent of workers (men and women) worked two or more miles from where they lived (except in places like Page).
With the onset of the industrial revolution, everything changed. People became more mobile. Because of the shortage of men in the workforce during World War II, women entered the workforce, and many of them enjoyed working outside the home.
With the introduction of corporate farming, global trade and advanced technology, the job market shifted and continues to shift away from manual labor and toward technological jobs and service oriented positions.
Minimum wage has increased by 800 percent since 1965. Prices have followed, and in many cases have risen much faster. Some of us remember paying 20 cents for a gallon of gas, 10 cents for a Pepsi, and less than a 100 dollars a month for rent or mortgage payment. Regardless of all the changes, there are a few things that should never change.
We should realize that God has given us all special talents and gifts, gifts that will help us find the work or careers that are best suited for us and will bring joy and satisfaction to us.
Work is more than honorable, it is a necessary part of our lives, especially for men.
In Genesis 3:19, God said, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground.” It was assumed in the Bible that women who stayed home, raised children, made clothes, prepared meals and did whatever else needed to be done, actually were working and working hard.
When we celebrate labor, we celebrate the value of every job.
There is no job that isn’t important or significant. Some jobs are dirty work, some jobs are paper work and would seem boring to many. Some jobs require a lot of education, while others require hands on abilities.
Every job is worth giving our best to. Showing up for work on time and ready to work is so important, yet seems to be a problem too many times here in Page.
Everybody wants to make more money than they are being paid today, but too many people aren’t willing to stay with a job long enough to actually earn a raise. Most employers are fair and would pay more for really good workers.
We pray often and ask God to meet our needs, or to give us the desires of our hearts. Often God meets those needs by giving us jobs.
We have been blessed with gifts and talents that make it possible for us to work. God gives us good health so that we may work, as well as strong minds that we may be able to be trained or be able to think well enough to earn a living.
Let your job be your source of His blessings and it will make it more pleasant for you, for those you work with, and for those you serve as you work. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Most often those needs are met through the work He gives us to do. May we celebrate work this Labor Day.
Martin Micale is the pastor of Lake Powell Church of the Nazarene, which is located at 255 S. Lake Powell Blvd.