This coming Monday our country celebrates a national holiday we call Labor Day. It’s the unofficial end of summer. Many of us will get the day off which is a little ironic when you think about it.

Work and rest set up a rhythm to life. Both are important. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All play and no work would probably make Jack pretty skinny eventually. On Labor Day we get to celebrate both work and rest and there is great goodness in both.

It might surprise you to know that God didn’t give work to human beings as punishment but as a way to celebrate being made in His likeness. In Genesis, God creates nature in all her pristine beauty. Then, God takes the time to fashion Adam and Eve in his own image and he places them in a garden, not a resort. He could have created the entire universe to resemble a Sandals resort and had all the animals be servants, saying to Adam and Eve, “This is your playground. Have fun. There is nothing for you to do.” Instead, he places them in a garden to “cultivate and keep it.” God has allowed us the privilege of molding our own world.

The canvas of an artist is more than smears of paint. The artist puts something of themselves on the canvas. God has designed each one of us in the same way. Your work each day is your canvas. God has provided the raw materials. He has given you gifts and talents and abilities and time. You spend each day on a particular area of a canvas because you were made to mold and cultivate. You have been created to have an impact on the world in which you live. And some of that impact is what we call work.

The work that Adam and Eve did was holy because they were doing it with God and for God. The work you do is holy as well. If you are a follower of Jesus you don’t just work for a paycheck. You work because the One who created you created the world around you. He has placed you where you are as surely as he placed your ancestors Adam and Eve in a garden long, long ago.

If you don’t have to work on Monday, then enjoy the rest. But on Tuesday get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your mark on the world your heavenly Father created. Because He decided this world needs you in it to cultivate and keep it. Enjoy your weekend.