Dr. Jackie Minor
Celebrating Labor Day Through the Eyes of a Christian Educator
For some reason, the word “labor” conjures up weird pictures in my head. I don’t know why, but I automatically visualize men, dirty and sweating, working on railroad tracks in the heat of summer. I have no earthly idea where this comes from; it’s probably from those old westerns my husband watches! I do know, however, from long-forgotten history lessons and a little help from Google, that Labor Day was passed after many protests regarding poor working conditions, unrealistic work hours, and insufficient pay. I know what you are thinking right now, and I could go down that rabbit hole, but let’s take a little different perspective on Labor Day!
Labor Day was meant to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers (including educators), but for many, it is simply a three-day weekend signaling the official end of summer. Even though summer is coming to an end, there is an underlying excitement brewing. With the end of summer comes cooler temperatures, football season, and chili! With every end, there is always a beginning.
Maybe we can approach Labor Day a little differently this year – as a new beginning. Let’s make this year the one in which we embrace the call to teach and the privilege of laboring as a Christian educator in today’s world. It takes someone special, someone anointed, to come alongside the God of the universe to impact the future generation (1 John 2:27).
That someone is you!
Do you realize how important it is to have Christian educators in our schools today? There is so much turmoil surrounding our students. The discussion around mental health is at an all-time high, and many feel helpless to do anything about it. As believers, we are not helpless! Do you grasp the level of influence you can have in the lives of those around you? You may be doubting this a bit, and in one aspect you would be right. Our efforts are limited in our own strength, but when we let God labor THROUGH us, nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26).
After all, who else can…
be kind like Jesus?
forgive like Jesus?
empathize like Jesus?
discipline like Jesus?
serve like Jesus?
love like Jesus?
Only those empowered by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)!
I recognize there are many days when we fail. I suspect all of us can recall times in our past when we didn’t love as we should have or times when we chose to walk past someone we know God was prompting us to serve. It happens to all believers. When it does, God doesn’t condemn us or force us to wallow in guilt. Instead, He simply convicts and restores repentant hearts. This is why He sent His Son (I Peter 2:24).
I also understand there are days when we feel our efforts make little or no difference. God’s Word assures us this isn’t the case. Hold onto His truth and not your feelings! Know your labor is not in vain!
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Ministry work often goes unnoticed and unappreciated by others. This is nothing foreign to the life of a teacher, but we must never forget how important our work is. Teaching is so much more than academics, test scores, and a paycheck. Laboring for the Lord is kingdom work. God chose you to join Him in changing lives. Teaching is such a privilege. Embrace your calling!
Happy Labor Day!
Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17 AMP