There is a legend that tells how one day the Carpenter’s tools had a conference. Brother Hammer was in the chair. The meeting had informed him that he must leave, because he was too noisy. He said, “If I am to leave this shop, Brother Gimlet must go too; he is so insignificant that he makes a very little impression.”
Little Brother Gimlet arose and said, “All right, but Brother Screw must go also; you have to turn him around and around to get him anywhere.” Brother Screw then said, “If you wish, I will go, but Brother Plane must leave also; all his work in on the surface. There is no depth to it.”
Brother Plane replied, “Well Brother Rule will have to withdraw if I do, for he is always measuring other folks as though he were the only one who is right.”
Brother Rule then complained against Brother Sandpaper and said, “I just don’t care, for he is rougher than he ought to be. He is always rubbing people the wrong way.”
In the midst of all this discussion, the Carpenter of Nazareth walked in. He had come to do His day’s work. He put on His apron, and went to the bench to make a pulpit. He employed the screw, the gimlet, the sandpaper, the saw, the hammer, the plane, and all the other tools. After the day’s work was over and the pulpit was finished, Brother Saw arose and said, “Brethren, I perceive that all of us are laborers together with God.”
Labor is not done in isolation, but in harmony with those with whom we work. We are “laborers together for God.” Labor takes on a new dimension of meaning when I sense that I am a part of a team, my labor is important to accomplishing the task of that team, and my labor is in keeping with God’s overall purpose for my life.
This will be Labor Day weekend. Spend some time thanking God for your talents and for your employment. Reflect also on ways your work can become an avenue for your witness, and your contribution to the team can increase.
Let’s labor together to create a pulpit that shares God’s Good News to a hurting world!