Work Was God’s Idea

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The history of Labor Day in America began with a Labor Day celebration in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. New York had a second Labor Day the following year, also on September 5. In 1884, a New York City labor union proposed the first Monday in September; and by the next year many large American cities were celebrating Labor Day.

The first Labor Day celebrations included a parade . . .

Labor Day Parade in New York City, 1909. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress
Labor Day Parade in New York City, 1909. Photo courtesy Library of Congress
Worker's wives and children watch a Labor Day parade in Detroit, Michigan, 1942. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress
Worker’s wives and children watch a Labor Day parade in Detroit, Michigan, 1942. Photo courtesy Library of Congress

. . . followed by recreational activities for American workers and their families.

Boys' sack race at Labor Day celebration, Ridgway, Colorado, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Boys’ sack race at Labor Day celebration, Ridgway, Colorado, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Potato race for children at Labor Day celebration, Ridgway, Colorado, 1940. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress.
Potato race for children at Labor Day celebration, Ridgway, Colorado, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Spectators at the contests for miners at the Labor Day celebration, Silverton, Colorado, 1940. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress.
Spectators at the contests for miners at the Labor Day celebration, Silverton, Colorado, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Team of two gold miners operating hand drill in contest on Labor Day, Silverton, Colorado, 1940 Photo Courtesy Library of Congress
Team of two gold miners operating hand drill in contest on Labor Day, Silverton, Colorado, 1940. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Miner's family on top of truck watching Labor Day contests, Silverton, Colorado. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
Miner’s family on top of truck watching Labor Day contests, Silverton, Colorado. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Work was God’s idea. In the beginning, He gave the first man work to do.

Then the Lord God took the man
and put him into the garden of Eden
to cultivate it and keep it.
Genesis 2:15 

Proverbs 31 praises the excellent wife who:

. . . works with her hands in delight.
Proverbs 31:13

And who:

. . . looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

The wise mama teaches her sons and daughters to work, to follow through, and to be diligent.

In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.
Proverbs 14:23

Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.
Proverbs 22:29

But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,
and to make it your ambition
to lead a quiet life
and attend to your own business
and work with your hands,
just as we commanded you,
so that you will behave properly toward outsiders
and not be in any need.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-11

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