Labor Day

My daughter, a reporter for Channel 8 in Dallas, did a story this Labor Day about women who make their own destiny, then she did two live Facebook feeds. One Facebook Live was about the American Idol auditions in Dallas. The other feed was about jobs and what we like about them and what we don’t.

A dad likes to brag, she got a ‘bijillion’ views, likes and shares. Bijillion, if you compare them to my paltry views.

It is both fitting and ironic that we are talking about jobs on a holiday. It is fitting that we celebrate all those who work and bring meat to the table. Not all jobs are fun, not all jobs are easy and nice, but they are necessary. Somebody has got to do the necessary stuff so that the rest of us can day off.

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So, here is to those who work on Labor Day. Soldiers and policemen and women for sure, but hospital workers, and restaurant workers, and gas station attendants, and a thousand others who keep life moving on.

And yes, reporters, like my daughter.

As for me, I love what I do, so I am not sure if it is truly work. Perhaps it is a labor, but a labor of love, one I don’t mind doing, even if the store is closed.

And what do I do?

Mostly, I sit and I think. Occasionally, I type a thought or two. A thought which always brings to mind the last line from John Milton’s sonnet, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent.”

“They also serve who only stand (‘sit,’ I interject) and wait.”

An enlarged reading of the sonnet explains that the poem was, in part, about Milton’s increasing blindness. Here are the lines below, so that you can imagine the author’s true feelings.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?’
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: ‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’

The words are rich in meaning, the phrases full of life, the sonnet, a beautiful expression of our purpose here on earth, to serve God’s purpose in whatever manner we might.

 

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