Choir Notes

Joy in Our Labors
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4381

At the funeral service of his father, a middle-aged man stood to express his feelings. “Father provided well for our family,” he said. “He always made sure we had what we needed, but the greatest gift he gave me was teaching me how to work.” With tears in his eyes he continued, “Dad loved us, and he showed that love by helping us learn the joy of an honest day’s work and a job well done.” 

Little of lasting value is accomplished without concentrated and often prolonged effort—just plain hard work. Much of the time, the real worth of an undertaking is directly related to how much work went into it. Whether the work is physical or mental or some of both, there is great satisfaction—even great joy—in seeing what comes of our own abundant efforts. 

From the beginning of human history, our existence has depended on gaining our livelihood “by the sweat of our brow."1 It seems to have been divinely appointed that we should need to work for the necessities of life. Though that labor may be tiresome and sometimes feel like it’s more than we can do, the Father of us all knew that the benefits of daily labor would far outweigh the burden. 

For young people, it may be schoolwork, work around the house, or a part-time job that requires their labor. Adults work at increasing their skills and making a valuable contribution to their employer and to society. And a parent’s work is never done. 

Everyone can find joy in honest effort, and old age need not change that. As one man entered retirement, he had no intention of leading a life without work. “I’m not retiring from something,” he said. “I’m retiring to something.” For him, the type of work may have changed, but it did not go away. In fact, working will likely prolong his life and give him fulfillment until the end. The author Pearl S. Buck has been quoted as saying, “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.” 

Work is a blessing and should be embraced with enthusiasm. May we find joy in our labors.

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