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Labor Day is just around the corner one more time. Call me strange, but I've long laughed at the irony in doing no labor on the day we set aside to celebrate work (I'm just glad as you are to have the day off, but it's still funny to me). On Monday, then, we will get together with our families, eat a lot of food, and enjoy our last holiday until Thanksgiving.

Work plays a vital role in each of our lives -- and not just because work makes the world go 'round. It's one of the primary ways we identify ourselves, for starters. When you meet someone new, what are the first things you ask? "What's your name?" and "What do you do?" most likely. This extends even into the days we begin to answer by saying, "I'm a retired ________." It never goes away.

Labor also gives purpose to our lives in another way. Each of us feels we're created to do something, and work can provide that something. Work has meaning, and it can lend that meaning to us. This is why we can talk of taking pride in our work; it has a purpose, it's meaningful, and it reflects on who we are.

Work wasn't supposed to be the toil and drudgery we know it as today. When God created humans, He made them gardeners to care for His creation. It wasn't until the Fall that work became cursed, became burdensome. Labor was around before the serpent talked to our first parents, and it was a good part of God's good plan for His creation.

This Labor Day, let's remember the original intent. Let's celebrate the goodness of work and do our work as labor for the Lord. And thank God for His provision of meaningful work.

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