It’s Labor Day in the United States, where some individuals get the day off from work and others don’t. It was intended to be a day of celebration for the positive social and economic impacts workers have achieved but the increasing gap between the rich and everyone else as well as wages that are not actually liveable, have really made it a day to earn some extra pay or take a rare break from working 2, 3, or 4 jobs. This, however, is not what I’m intending to write about here (I’ve already written some about these justice issues here.)

Our labor, or work, can easily become a thing that defines us as individuals. This makes sense to me considering the amount of time, effort, and money we put into our careers. Many of us are still paying (and will be for some time) for the educations that made our careers possible, even some years later. Many find their work keeping them away from their families and friends. The cost of working is certainly more than financial; it is physical, emotional, social, and even spiritual.

On this Labor Day, maybe it’s not a bad idea to think about the work we do and why. Is it worth the cost to ourselves and our loved ones? What impact does our work have on the Kingdom of God? Are you as intentional about working on your relationships, health, and faith as your career? Work without rest is addiction or punishment and neither seem sustainable.

May you labor in such a way as to make a difference and may you find rest knowing that your work will not only be more productive, but healthier.