On this holiday when we celebrate work, most of us get to celebrate work with a day of rest. Of course, that isn’t true of most professional athletes. When they are in their seasons, there is still work to be done. In fact, in past years Labor Day was a day in which many Major League teams would play double headers, meaning that, while most of us rested on Labor Day, those ballplayers were actually working twice as hard as usual. I remember one such Labor Day in Pittsburgh, at old Three River Stadium, as I watched the Phillies and the Pirates slug it out for a double-dip of games. Quite frankly, as I enjoyed my Labor Day holiday, it never occurred to me that those guys had to work. I was just happy to see the Pirates win a couple of games.
Of course, there are many others in more significant roles who find themselves working on days like today so that the rest of us can enjoy the last dying day of summer. Hospital personnel, public safety people, military folks, and countless others will be giving up their holiday today so that we can enjoy ours. I suppose it would be nice if the rest of us (beginning with me) would at least take note of their service. Paul gave us a very generic charge when he wrote these words to Timothy, and I think they can give us a bit of direction on a day like today: ”Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men” (1 Timothy 2:1).
On this day, we can certainly give thanks for all those who are serving with their labors so that we can have a day of rest—and show our gratitude as we encounter them throughout the day.
Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain