A Father’s Lesson on Labor Day

I am confident of this,that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:6 (NRSV)

I am a work-a-holic. It’s why I have a cell phone that can read e-mail and see my Twitter feed. It’s tough for me to cut loose. But, I am my father’s son.

My dad is in his 70’s and is still working six day weeks, more that ten hours per day. His passion is his church, his family, and his work. My dad showed that there were many good things associated with a being a productive and healthy member of the community you live in. He was president of the school board for many years in our small hometown. He served long enough to hand me my diploma when I graduated high school, as well as my two sisters. Many dinners family meals were missed in the evenings due to the long hours he worked. Some nights, he would get home at midnight and get up at 5 am to do the same thing again. Some days, he still does that.

I doubt that unless one of his children wins the lottery, he will ever retire. He’s not an idle man. He’s idle when he is asleep — getting rest for the next day. It’s all that he has known and all that he will ever know.

This Labor Day, I’m mindful of the satisfaction that my father continues to derive from work. We tie up a great deal of our own self-worth in our vocation. I grieve for those that are unemployed . I believe that part of some insatiable, work related passion of our soul goes unfulfilled when we don’t have a job. I also am mindful of those who have served in the jobs for many years and retire (forced or unforced) — only to find that unfulfilling.

Give thanks for holiness of good labor and remember those for which labor is only a memory.

Published by Matt

Creative Arts developer, planner, husband, and father. I direct choirs, make graphic art, and film, photograph and work daily to foster an experience with the Holy.

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