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Labor Pains

Nope, I will not share anything about conception and giving birth. I know most moms would easily relate to that topic but this is something different…

When we moved here in the US in 2012, it came as a shock to me when I started seeing “Happy Labor Day” greetings in my Facebook timeline… in September! Yes, contrary to popular belief, I’m not as smart as you think I am. I have my very naïve moments most of the time. I’m just good in not showing it!

I honestly didn’t know that here in the US, Labor Day is celebrated on the 1st Monday in September, when they honor the contributions of workers in strengthening the wellbeing of this country. Street parades in big cities, families go on vacation, and most retailers take advantage of this long weekend to boost their sales. Well of course for sports fanatics, labor day is an indication that NFL season is coming (woot!).

But Labor Day holiday is not always as festive as it may seem. In other parts of the world, specifically from where I grew up, we celebrate it every 1st of May. And there are no festivities from when I was still a child. Laborers hold protests in the streets. Labor unions rally in front of the Palace to demand workers’ rights. There are riots… There is chaos… There is just pain. It has been a question in my mind why they keep complaining about their work.

From a secular view, work seems like a lifetime punishment. The type of work you have determines your quality of life. In most cases, work is directly proportional to happiness. I have heard friends complain about their work. I have heard them whine endlessly of how bad their bosses are and how often they wanted to quit their jobs but couldn’t. It’s like poor work quality = low quality of life = unhappiness. This is true. Sad to say though, if this is your only equation to happiness, even your dog won’t be able to stand your whining.

I have been asked a lot of times before why I have this certain demeanor in my job. Some questions have been asked sarcastically and believe me, if I could only throw my wedge shoes on them I would do it. Yet since I have the gift of patience (Thank God!), I would not. So here’s a bit of my heart and brain about work:

1) Your work honors the Lord.

Whether you are a CEO, driver, or retail clerk, all kinds of work (ethical) are honorable before God. Honoring God with your work is not limited to church people. It applies to everyone. As 1 Corinthians 10:31 clearly tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” We honor (or dishonor) God by whatever we do.

2) Your work calls for your obedience to God.

Colossians 3:22 said that we have to obey our earthly masters in everything. And we must do it not only when they are around but with sincere hearts and in reverence for the Lord. So whether on or off camera, we have to do what is right. We have to do whatever is appropriate as if God is just right there sitting beside us.

3) Your work is your ministry.

If you are a member of any church, do not feel frustrated if you don’t find the right ministry for you. We all have different gifts and abilities. We are all called by God into one purpose but in different ways. Though one thing I know for sure, and the one thing I live by, is that we are called to be excellent workers.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

There is a greater purpose to our work than providing our basic needs. There is an underlying factor why God created work in the first place. Work has been ordained by God since day 1 (Genesis 1). He did not create work to punish us. He created it as a gift to fulfill our lives.

Simply put, love your work. Love whatever you do. Work never has to be a pain.