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Monday, September 2, 2013

It’s Labor Day. Take the Day Off.

The Way WE Work is a Monday morning audio blog from yours truly that offers an encouraging look at the world of work. 
Another Monday holiday. Oddly, this one we call Labor Day.  Need a history lesson to remember why we’re off today?

Time Magazine for kids gives us a good summary. And I quote: “More than a century ago, workers were forced to deal with harsh conditions. They were paid very little and they often worked 10- to 12-hour days. Men, women, and even small children were forced to work even when they were sick.
Tired of long hours and dangerous conditions, workers began organizing themselves into labor unions. On top of fighting for higher pay and shorter workdays, they also fought for the rights of children. The workers wanted employers to place limits on the age of their workers so that small children were not overworked or hurt in factories.”
Peter McGuire is often called the “father” of Labor Day, coming up with the idea for the holiday in 1882. Thanks, Pete.
Some of my favorite quotes on work include this one from Edgar Bergen: Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?
Jerome K. Jerome, who needs help on that name, once said, “I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”
And someone who wished to remain anonymous creatively admitted:  “Getting paid to sleep ... that's my dream job.”  I think a lot of people are there.
Truth be told…people should take more time off.
God loves the idea of a labor-free day. In fact, He would have us take one every week! God is a big fan of time off. In His thinking, you work six, you rest one. God was so convinced of this plan, He made it one of the Big Ten. Not the football conference, the Ten Commandments.
Now here’s the weird part. Many people don’t take His “work 6, goof-off-one” plan! They keep right on working that seventh day.
Despite the natural love of commerce that keeps doors open on Sunday, there are some great American companies that honor God’s thinking on this matter. You may have heard of them. Companies like Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby. 
Other firms such as Interstate Batteries, Herman Miller, and Forever 21 think strategically on putting labor into perspective. God’s perspective. They make an effort to treat people the way they should be treated. Now THAT is something you can take to the bank.
Today, on Labor Day, keep in mind that our work is important for society. It’s vital to our well being in so many ways. Just keep it in balance.
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes this statement: People come into this world with nothing, and when they die they leave with nothing.
In spite of all their hard work, they leave just as they came. (Ecclesiastes 5:15 New Century Version)
Yep. That about says it. Now, back to my lounge chair.
That’s the way WE work. For Moody Radio, I’m Mark Elfstrand.

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