Monday, September 01, 2014

Labor Day: a Day for Work?

Today is Labor Day. Labor means work, and typically on Labor Day, we take a rest from our work. 
But, the verse of the day that popped up in my "YouVersion" bible app. this morning was Hebrews 12: 14 which exhorts me to work.
Work at getting along with each other and with God. (Heb 12:14a, The Message)

ESV and other versions use the word, "Strive." 
Strive for peace with everyone...
American Standard Version says, "Follow after peace with all men..."
Good News Translation tells us to "Try to be at peace with everyone..."
Holman Christian Standard uses the word "Pursue" as in 
Pursue peace with everyone...

Pursue, strive, work at, try to, follow after...

My response to this commandment today? 
"You know, I just don't feel like it. It's Labor Day weekend, the weekend we take a BREAK from our work!  Did you not consult the calendar, oh deciders of the verse of the day at You Version Bible App. Inc.?

Maybe they didn't, but the verse remains there in scripture and the reminder from II Timothy 3:16 still rings true, too, even on Labor Day, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, or reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."

Well crap, I think, I cannot run away from this. I cannot deny it or refute the call to work today from the God I have submitted my life to. I cannot say, "God, this is a day off from work."
I may be able to set aside physical labor today, though as a mom, likely not. But today and on any day I cannot set aside the call to work toward peace. 

The pursuit of peace in our relationships with others is arduous at times, is it not?
On these holiday weekends, we often find ourselves with family or close friends with whom it might require a great amount of effort on our part to find and stay on the path of peace. 

Sometimes to follow after peace demands we look hard for the way because it is so clouded by the fog of emotion. We must pause and think rather than speak. We must walk away wounded because we absorbed offense rather than returned it. We must depart at the day's end, leaving others with misconceptions or perceptions of us, our motives and intentions.  We must bite our tongue rather than use it in viperous ways.  We must leave others' wrongs un-righted, others' stinging comments un-addressed, others' passive aggressiveness un-responded to for the sake of peace. 

Our call is to peace. 
Look for the ways to make peace, keep peace, follow peace today.  There is no formula. The actions may look very different from one person to another. Prayerfully ask God, as I am today, what does it look like for ME to pursue peace today. 

Can we pray for one another today as we seek to labor on this Labor Day?