Happy Labor Day from Jeanette! While researching a new book idea I stumbled upon this bit of historical trivia: Labor Day was official recognized in 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing it as a national holiday. The observance actually dates back to September 5, 1882 when workers paraded in New York City, fighting for unionization and an eight-hour work day. Declaring it a holiday was the president’s way of honoring the American workforce. By the early 20th century Labor Day marked the official end of summer.
As a kid Labor Day meant:
• A barbecue with neighbors
• Anticipating the first day of school
• The Jerry Lewis Telethon
I don’t think I even knew what Labor Day meant. Even as an adult it’s easy to let the meaning slip past me as I try to work in a final dose of summer fun. So today I’d like to take advantage of this historical day to honor my fellow hard-working writers.
Like those 19th century factory workers, you often work long days for little pay. Yet you continue to write despite the rejection, creativity blocks, and shattered dreams. Many of you have suffered on-the-job injuries such as eye strain, neck problems, carpel tunnel, and wounded psyches. You faithfully meet deadlines while juggling day jobs, family, ministries, and friendships. Some romanticize what you do and make funny assumptions about you becoming wealthy from your next best-seller. While you know better, and occasionally ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” you wouldn’t trade writing for anything.
As you go into your week, remember that without writers we wouldn’t have newspapers, novels, self-help books, devotionals, or flashy slogans. Writers inspired, rally the masses, and entertain. Our emotional intensity moves others to think and feel. Most importantly, the God of the Universe occasionally uses you to spread His love and truth.
Celebrate Labor Day with this in mind, and thank God for your gift and calling.