The first Monday in September is designated as a federal holiday, Labor Day.  Ironically, a day that honors labor, is a holiday and a day off from it. The long weekend to mark the end of summer recreation and the start of school, is often used as one last hurrah and a time for picnics, parades, and fun.

Congress declared the national holiday to honor the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the development and growth of America.

“Labor” is often synonymous with fatigue and effort, and when we work hard, we are tired. Sometimes we’re frustrated and even annoyed. But the qualities recognized in this holiday stretch beyond the physical and emotional responses to work, but to the qualities of endurance, productivity, and strength.

My immigrant family personified those traits and with it much character and gratitude for the ability to work. I think that is the significance of the holiday: a celebration of work, gratitude, and character. (Colossians 3:23)

Enjoy your picnic, perhaps a parade, and even some shopping discounts, but today, don’t loose the original intention of the holiday. Pause for a moment and be thankful for the opportunities and ability to work, and the character developed in the process.

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