Monday, September 05, 2016

A time to work

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

TO CHEW ON: I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied....and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God." - Ecclesiastes 3:10,13

We are again at a turning point in the year. Today is Labour Day in Canada — the holiday that, it has always seemed to me, officially ends the summer and ushers in the fall. When I was a teacher and again when I was a parent with school-aged children, this holiday was very significant.

It seems appropriate to have, as part of our reading on this day, the philosophical list of contrasting experiences that make up life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), to which today we could add:

  • A time to vacation and a time to come home.
  • A time to play and a time to work.

Hopefully your kids' school supplies are all bought, packed, and ready for their first day in the classroom tomorrow. It's nice to be able to spend this last holiday of the summer relaxing, or going on a picnic, or tidying the garden, or whatever you enjoy doing before again facing the reality of another season of work tomorrow.

Yet despite work's bad reputation, it seems that life without it would be like a diet of ice-cream and chocolate bars: a sweet treat to begin with but soon boring and unhealthy.

May our work yield the food, drink, and satisfaction that Solomon refers to when he calls it "the gift of God" - Ecclesiastes 3:13.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for my work, which gives my life structure, purpose, challenge, and the satisfaction of accomplishment. Help me to view it as a gift from you. Amen.

MORE: The origin of Labour Day in Canada
"Labour Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in Canada since the 1880s. The origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back to December 1872 when a parade was staged in support of the Toronto Typographical Union's strike for a 58-hour work-week. (From the Wikipedia article "Labour Day.")

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