Labor Day is observed on the first Monday in September. It became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century where despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks. (History.com).
This and many holidays have gone through change over the years. While many will spend the day at picnics enjoying the end of summer, many will still be working and unable to enjoy the intent of Labor Day. We have become a nation where we work harder and harder to achieve or maintain our middle class status. We have forgotten the value of rest.
Scripture tells us to value rest. Our bodies were designed in God’s image and needs rest. Without regular rest, we all crash.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:1-2 NIV).
I have to admit I’m not good at resting either. I have fallen into the trap of working, working and working. There is always something to be doing. Then I hit the wall and want to do nothing for an entire weekend or more. I’m trying to learn to balance work and rest. This Labor Day I’m planning my fall schedule to include rest, rest with family and rest with God.
Have you made a plan? Share how you rest with others, here, and breathe life and bring hope to others.