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Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Plight of Toil and Pleasure

A questioning expression I've heard more than once in recent days is "Wasn't it just Memorial Day?"  Holidays and vacations are over, schools from pre-K's to universities are back in session, and businesses and organizations are already looking toward Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I'm thinking how appropriate it is that the week after Labor Day on which we celebrate work and working that we literally go back to work in many ways.

One day last week when I was still on vacation and taking a long walk I found myself waiting at a crosswalk along with a man on a bicycle.  We exchanged greetings and he volunteered that he was headed to work.  He said, "I sure wish I had the day off."  Then he quickly added, "But I sure am thankful I have a job."  

The "preacher" in the biblical book of Ecclesiastes tells us I know that there is nothing better for [people] than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. (Eccl 3:12-13)

This word "toil" implies that our work, or for some people the process of finding work, is not always fun and rewarding, that it can sometimes be laborious and even troublesome.  

So, this week or next when we find ourselves whimsically daydreaming of lazy summer days of rest and recreation and we are suddenly brought back to the "same old stuff" the "toil" of our workplace, or job searching, it is good for us to remember that God's gift to us is for us to " and drink and take pleasure in all [our] toil." 

This is how we, along with the man on the bicycle, can say, "I sure wish I was still at the beach, or the mountains, or wherever on vacation.  But I sure am thankful I have a job!" 

Ours is a plight of toil and pleasure to " happy and enjoy [ourselves] as long as [we] live."      

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