Have you ever noticed how calendar time and real time are two different types of time? Confused? Consider this timely example.
In school, children learn the four seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter. Astronomers calculate the start and finish of each season based upon the sun’s solstice and equinox.
According to calendar time, summer begins on June 21 and ends September 21. In real time, however, summer starts on Memorial Day weekend and concludes on Labor Day weekend. This weekend marks the real end of summer and beginning of fall, regardless of what the calendar might say.
New York City hosted the first Labor Day in 1882. A machinist and a carpenter organized a parade to recognize workers. The holiday quickly became a national observance.
Few people consider Labor Day to be a particularly Christian holiday. The church gladly claims Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter; but the first weekend in September has never been considered a particularly religious observance.
However, Labor Day reveals an important truth for God’s people. We are all guilty of grumbling and griping about our daily responsibilities. We often view work as a necessary evil; and we envision paradise as an endless vacation. We forget that work is a good thing created by the Lord for his people.
Reread the creation account in Genesis 1-2. The Lord did not place Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to enjoy a life of ease. Instead, God created them for a life of productive and fruitful labor. They cared for the Lord’s creation, worked as gardeners in Eden, and served as stewards of this wonderful world.
Work gives meaning and purpose to life. Fulfillment comes from using our God given abilities and resources in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. Labor Day weekend is an excellent time to reflect upon the jobs God has given us in heaven’s kingdom.
“Vocation” is a rich word filled with meaning that the church abandoned in recent years. Today it is a synonym for a job or profession. In the original sense, however, a vocation meant a commitment to the religious life. The word comes from the Latin root “to summons” or “to call.”
Call is an important part of our understanding of the Christian experience. All of God’s children have responded to Christ’s common call. Each in his or her way has heard Jesus say: Come, and follow me.
Along with our common call we each receive a variety of callings. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul wrote: There are many different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
God created us as unique individuals, suited and equipped for different work. God’s people share a common call with a variety of callings. During the upcoming Labor Day weekend, give thanks to the Lord for the opportunity to work.
Vocation is more than making a living, it is creating a life.