Happy Labor Day! Labor Day is a creation of the Labor Movement in the late 1800’s. It was instituted as a day to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. While that’s still worth celebrating, Labor Day has become a day for many of us to rest from our labors and breath in the last breath of summer.
I love my work, my labor, am grateful for it and find great meaning in it. But it’s also true that even a pastor’s labor can sometimes draw away from Who and what matters most. Busyness is a virus that infects every vocation. So, on this day when many of us are privileged to step away from our labors, I commend to you this poem/prayer by Methodist pastor Dr. Ted Loder. It’s entitled There is Something.
there is something I wanted to tell you,
but there have been errands to run,
bills to pay,
arrangements to make,
meetings to attend,
friends to entertain,
washing to do…
and I forget what it is I wanted to say to you,
and mostly I forget what I’m about
don’t forget me, please,
for the sake of Jesus Christ….
O Father in Heaven,
perhaps you’ve already heard what I wanted to tell you,
What I wanted to ask is,
increase my courage, please.
Renew in me a little of love and faith,
and a sense of confidence,
and a vision of what it might mean
to live as though you were real,
and I mattered,
and everyone was sister and brother.
What I wanted to ask in my blundering way is
don’t give up on me, don’t become too sad about me,
but laugh with me,
and try again with me,
and I will with you, too.
You can find this and many other wonderful poems/prayers by Ted Loder in his book, Guerrillas of Grace.
Curious about the history of Labor Day? Click here.
Jeff Marian is lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN