When I was a kid growing up in the 1970’s, a time before remote controls and only 4 stations on your television, I thought Labor Day meant the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. That seemed to be what everyone did. We sat around waiting for Jerry to cry once they reached their goal that year.
A lot has changed since the seventies. Now the telethon has to compete with a gazillion stations for attention. Not that anything is on any of those stations worth watching, but it makes it harder to get people to stay interested in one show hour after hour.
Labor Day is also associated with the end of summer and the last day for a good barbeque. It’s a transition to school days and fall weather. Not that you would notice in Florida with our still ninety degree heat. And now most schools begin well before Labor Day.
But Labor Day is really the celebration of the American worker. In 1884, the first Monday of September was chosen as the day to celebrate a “working man’s holiday”.
Today it is particular important to celebrate the “working man” because there are too many out there who don’t feel the need to work. If this concept grows, which is likely as long as the government continues to pay for laziness, then there will be fewer working people in the future. God doesn’t intend for us to allow others to support us. He knows that hard work is its own reward.
In the Bible, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 reads, For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat”. Too many people these days eat from the labor of others. We need to go back to a time where laziness was not a reward.
I have no problem with the government giving a temporary, helping hand to those who need it. But they should be required to work, if they are able, in order to receive their benefits. Why is it we pay for cleaning crews in government offices and yard workers in our parks when there are still people on welfare? If the government supports your children, shouldn’t you be required to work for any money used to take care of them? Put the dead-beat dads cleaning up garbage for eight hours a day. It might make them too tired to create more children they refuse to support.
One definition for the word “labor” is “physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.” It’s time we came back to celebrating those who do work hard for their wages. And stop rewarding those who refuse to work at all.
The celebration of Labor Day is a wonderful idea. But it is only worth celebrating if those who work are not supporting those who refuse to work. Otherwise, we’re just rewarding hard work one day a year and laziness the remainder.
What will you be doing to celebrate this Labor Day? What does the holiday mean to you and your family?