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Tag Archive | "labor day"

Let your soul catch up


by Ronnie McBrayer

by Ronnie McBrayer

The first Labor Day celebration was observed in New York City in 1882. It was a movement to honor “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Not many years later, it became evident that the American worker was such an exceptional and efficient creature, that work hours would soon be reduced to mere shadows of their former oppression.

For example, economist John Mayhard Keynes, in the teeth of the Great Depression, predicted that technological advancements would soon lead to a 15-hour work week. In the mid-1960s, congressional leaders boldly predicted a two-day work week by the year 2000. That prediction has apparently only rung true for congressional leaders, as the average time workers spend on the job has ballooned over the years to nearly 50 hours per week. The predictions of “less work more rest,” is a farce for today’s laborers.

In the book of Genesis, the ancient writer says that on that final day of the first week, God rested. The word for rest means “to enhance one’s soul,” or “to renew the spirit.” When we imitate God in this way, it is an act of worship.

Lettie Cowman, a devotional writer from a century ago, illustrates this with one of her stories from Africa. She wrote about an Englishman who was exploring the deepest jungles of the continent, traveling like British royalty. He had brought with him fine wines, his favorite foods, tons of books and parchments, furniture and clothing.

He had so much that he had to hire an army of strong men from the local villages to portage all this material through the jungle. On the first day of his grand safari he pushed the laborers at an exhausting, God-forsaken pace. But on the second morning, the hired Africans refused to move.

Finally, one of the young men explained that they were not especially tired. Rather, they had gone too far and too fast on the first day, and they had to “wait for their souls to catch up with their bodies.”

Ms. Cowman concluded her story (and I remind you, her words are a century old): “This whirling, rushing life which so many of us live does for us what that first march did for those poor tribesmen. But here is the difference: They knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.” Amen.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

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Gas prices to remain stable for Labor Day


Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

An estimated 1.4 million Michiganians will travel during the 2009 Labor Day holiday, according to a recent AAA survey. This year, Labor Day falls on Sept. 7, a full week after last year, at a time when many families are preparing for school opening. Nationally, Labor Day travel is anticipated to be down 13 percent from last year.

“However, lower gas prices, combined with end of summer discounts and deals offered by travel providers, are encouraging travelers to enjoy summer’s last hurrah,” said Claire Lockley, vice president of Travel for The Auto Club Group. Most Labor Day travelers will go by auto (84 percent), while air travel will account for only four percent. Twelve percent will go by train, bus, RV, motorcycle or personal watercraft.

Holiday auto travelers will find gas prices in Michigan averaging $2.59 for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, $1.23 lower than last year. The price in Cedar Springs, as of Wednesday, was $2.52 per gallon.

This year, the official 78-hour Labor Day holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4), and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday (Sept. 7).

During last year’s holiday period, 12 people died in 12 fatal crashes on roads across the state. Four of last year’s deaths were alcohol-related.  Of the persons killed, three were not belted and four did not have seat belts available, as they were cycle related.  Two of those were not wearing helmets, one was and one was unknown.

To help make this year’s Labor Day holiday period a safe one, AAA Michigan will once again partner with the Michigan State Police (MSP) in supporting Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). Bright banners will be posted at rest areas statewide, with most sites offering complimentary coffee and refreshments. In addition to free coffee, Operation C.A.R.E. volunteers will provide information about some of the major causes of deadly crashes and how to avoid them.

Local law enforcement here in Cedar Springs and across the state will also continue extra patrols until Labor Day, under the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest program, in conjunction with the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

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