Labor and Rest

We take Labor Day off for a good reason…to rest from our work and to be thankful for the gift of our labor, as it contributes meaningfully to the lives of others. No matter our vocation, as believers in Jesus Christ, our work is to be defined and expressed out of our relationship with God, the Scriptures, and prayer.

When we labor, we do so “as unto the Lord” and the integrity of our lives is evidence of our earnest desire to honor and please him in all ways. Our moral compass is defined by God’s Word, not by the ever lapsing moral collapse of the world around us. Therefore, we work hard, we pursue excellence, we exceed expectations of our employers, all as a witness to the joy and gratitude that exists in our hearts. We treat others in the workplace as Jesus would treat them: with grace, mercy, patience, honesty, appreciation and love. This very simply is the Christian way.

When we cease from laboring, we are to rest and reflect on the tremendous gifts that our work provides for us. Beyond a fair wage, we discover that we’re grateful for the opportunity to exercise our personal capabilities in meaningful, life changing ways. We’re renewed in our resting to return once again to our labor with vigor and passion and intentionality. Our work comes alive once more out of our restfulness and rejuvenation.

Combining labor and rest is consistent to the example of the Lord. After his labor of creation, we’re told in the Scriptures that he rested. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done,” Genesis 2:2,3.

On this Labor Day we rest from our daily work. It’s similar to what Sabbath rest is designed to create within us on a weekly, ongoing basis. However, there’s generally more tension than balance in that invitation, for it’s hard for most of us to find genuine rest whatsoever (we’re constantly being pulled in too many conflicting directions). But for this day, the invitation is to cease from what resembles the daily rhythms of work, and instead find rest for body, mind, heart and soul.

A God-blessed Labor Day to you and yours!

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.