Here we are at the beginning of a “new” year, in school that is. For many of our families, we will observe Labor Day weekend with last big cookouts, camping and other types of “R & R.”
Leisure is a very important part of whole health, but work is also very important. We sometimes have to remind ourselves that work has been given to us as a gift from God. Affirmation of this can be found in Ecclesiastes 5:18, 19: 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.
When I mention work, I am including all of our activities which are grounded in love for God. This includes inside or outside of the home, and can be a paid activity or a volunteer activity, with His love at the center of our intentions.
Sometimes we spend much time working at a task that doesn’t seem to be moving along or accomplishing what we had in mind, and our activity can give way to frustration or stress or both. When this happens, it is important to step back, put our thoughts in prayer with God, and put Him in the center of our reason for what we are doing. I recently waited for someone near the ferry terminal, and another person nearby was holding her Bible and obviously deep in prayer thought. When she opened her eyes she commented to me, “I hope I don’t look like a weirdo – I had a really hard day with work, and needed to take it to my Lord to help me get back on track before I got home to my family.” What a blessing to see and share that moment. I told her “thank you for reminding me how important that is,” and we parted ways. She helped me, in a brief moment, to find my center in the Lord.
I know the month of September is a busy one for many. I hope that we can remind each other to keep God at the center of our activities – our work – our families – our day; and if we can do this, we can experience greater joy in all our work.
In Colossians 3:33, Paul shares encouragement with these words, Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Healthy work with God at the center provides greater achievement for the world we live in and helps our whole health – spiritual, mental, and physical – become in greater balance.
As we observe Labor Day, may we always remember that our work is a gift from God.
If I can be of any help to you, please let me know.
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace Lutheran Church & School firstname.lastname@example.org