Labor Day is an annual tribute to the hard working American people. It’s very much appreciated. Most of us do work very hard, so being forced to take a day off of work is a welcome concept.

But I think we can find more in Labor Day than Uncle Sam intended. In forcing us to take a break from our work, Labor Day can serve as a much-needed reminder that work is not everything, that we are more than what we produce, that neither our souls nor our bodies find their entire significance in the workplace.

Many of us have a tendency toward workaholism. We feel the pressure to produce more and more, our priorities are out of place and we find ourselves climbing a ladder purely for the sake of getting higher, or the drive to get more comfortable and accumulate more stuff forces us to work unhealthy hours. Whatever the specific situation, workaholism is nothing more than idolatry. Whether we’re worshipping status, wealth, or productivity, we’re being pulled away from the true purpose of work and the proper object of worship.

When I wrote about the need to find God in the midst of a busy schedule awhile back, I talked about the painting “Office Deity” by John Feodorov. Painted in the style of an icon, “Office Deity” places the C.E.O. on the throne that would typically hold the Christ figure. The angels along the sides bear the accessories of the C.E.O.’s greatness. I love this painting because it is a potent symbol for our corporate idolatry.

So here’s the point. Most of us have the day off. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Be reminded that you are more than your job description says you are. Be thankful for the work you have and the ability God has given you to fulfill your duties. Be ready to re-enter your workplace with a passion to do your best for God’s glory and the blessing of the people you work for and with.

And in the meantime, celebrate your Labor Day with a heart that accepts the wonderful reality that God worked six days in creating the world and rested on the seventh. Embrace that embedded principle of rest and enjoy the time that God has given you to relax and enjoy the life He has blessed you with.

 

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Mark Beuving
Mark Beuving currently serves as Associate Pastor at Creekside Church in Rocklin, CA. Prior to going back into pastoral ministry, Mark spent ten years on staff at Eternity Bible College as a Campus Pastor, Dean of Students, and then Associate Professor. Mark now teaches online adjunct for Eternity. He is passionate about building up the body of Christ, training future leaders for the Church, and writing. Though he is interested in many areas of theology and philosophy, Mark is most fascinated with practical theology and exploring the many ways in which the Bible can speak to and transform our world. He is the author of "Resonate: Enjoying God's Gift of Music" and the co-author with Francis Chan of "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples." Mark lives in Rocklin with his wife and two daughters.

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