THE SLEEP OF A LABORER IS SWEET
"The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep." Ecclesiastes 5:12
Labor Day - Wikipedia describes the American holiday as the day in which we pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers.
At Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery Cafe, we have a myriad of employees to whom tribute is due. Many of those we work with are the "younger generation"; that generation about which we seldom hear anything positive. That is not the case here. We have hard working, dedicated, way-beyond-the-call-of-duty workers, in both the younger generation and in my, ahem, more seasoned generation.
We have always loved putting people to work. In years gone by, with four small children, I couldn't get all of my housework done to my satisfaction, and I was feeling overwhelmed so I put an announcement in our church bulletin (pre Craig's list!) looking for someone who would clean house a few hours per week in trade for pottery seconds. A young, single mom in our church answered the ad, and we built a great relationship. She had work, she was able to get pottery that was beyond her budget, and I had a clean house.
As the children grew, we wanted to teach them the benefit of work, so at a young age they learned to fold clothes, pick up branches in the yard, do dishes and have regular chores. I recently came across an entry in my journal of those early years, and I had been stung by my Mother's criticism that I was making the older children do all of the work of the younger ones. It must have had an impact, because all of our kids learned how to be hard workers. Coming from a family background of many "isms", I realize that too much work is also an "ism", maybe a little more respectable than other "isms", but something to be cautious about, nonetheless.
Eventually our business grew to the point where David and I couldn't do it all ourselves. It was great to hire other people, but I think that we felt as if we weren't doing "enough", and it was difficult to let go of the tasks that we had always done without help. I remember thinking, "if we were just a bit more organized, or had more energy..." Well, those thoughts are long behind us, and there is no doubt that we need all of these wonderful people, and they all need jobs, so it's a symbiotic relationship.
We are blessed to live in a place where there is usually work for those who want to work. Our pastor, however, used to say that we are called to work, but that doesn't mean that we need to always get paid for our work. There are more volunteer opportunities available than volunteers, so if you have time, someone needs you.
Have a wonderful Labor Day. And thanks for your hard work.
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