For some people, the Labour Day weekend is filled with particular pattern and associations which acquire the status of a "tradition" or "best practice". Others are more flexible and use the day for whatever seems most opportune and suited for what needs to be accomplished and this will vary from year to year. Now that the Saskatchewan government has determined that the school year will only start after Labour Day, it marks the last remaining freedom of the summer holidays before returning to the classroom afterwards.
While human labour for many in our North American society is not as intensive nor as exploitative today as it was in the time when Labour Day was first designated as a holiday, when labour unions were fostering greater protection from the exploitive conditions under which many workers were subject to the turn of the 20th century. Apart from its labour union movement roots, I think that there are other reasons to mark Labour Day and how human labour adds to our meaning and purpose, as it fosters the creative aspect of our identity as it fosters the betterment of others.
Ideally speaking, the work of our hands and bodies, hearts and minds, souls and spirits should aim at producing and designing something beneficial for others, beyond being the means of earning one's livelihood and supporting one's family. When our work enriches the quality of life of others around us, it is possible to see that work as truly fulfilling and rewarding to the human person. When we can apply the fruit of our labour to the building up of others with Christian values and the growth of God's kingdom, then our labour acquires significance in being joined to Christ's presence. What is produced by our human labour serves our human spirit by realizing its true potential for goodness and generosity, for kindness and compassion, and for service and helpfulness.
Blessed are those who are engaged in the type of work suited to their personalities and likings, and in the kind of work which they enjoy and utilizes well their skills and abilities. When this occurs, then work, rather then being demeaning and detrimental to our human spirits, becomes enlivening and uplifting to the human person. The Lord prays that the Father might send more labourers into His harvest. Let us more consciously use what our hands and minds are able to produce for God's kingdom.