Labor Day is coming up in a hurry and it made me think of an ancient question that is as important now as it was a year ago or ten years ago or a thousand years ago: "Why do we do what we do? How can we have a happy, meaningful life?"
The answer is summed up in the simple word: "Love." If our labor -- and our life -- is filled with Love, authentic love, it will be meaningful, and happy, and blessed.
On the other hand, if we do what we do simply because it's a habit, or because we want to survive, or be famous, or earn a lot of money -- it would be better, as Kahlil Gibran said, to stop working and become a beggar.
Actually, Gibran's quote about work and love is so good that I'm going to give it in full here:
"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger."
The paradox of love
Love is such a huge paradox. For one thing, who can understand what love is, really? Some people may think they know, and of course a trillion books have been written about it. But I don't think anyone really knows.
Ultimately Love is indescribable, and yet -- paradoxically -- it can be experienced.
It can be experienced in important moments, of course, but the real magic of love for me is that we can taste it, and feel it, and share it, and express it, in the little moments of our lives.
Filling our little moments with love
No moment is so small, insignificant, or boring that it cannot be lifted up and transformed by love.
When we love the little moments that God gives us, the apparently unimportant moments, our entire life is re-created and shines with new beauty and meaning.
Just now I heard a Raven call somewhere close by. Mind you, in the interests of full disclosure, I'm quite fond of ravens. Nonetheless, it was a lovely sound, and a lovely moment.
It reminded me of Love's greatest gift: It opens our heart to the oneness of life and all creation.
What is your labor of love?
Back to Labor Day – and labor. My work lately has been writing and finally (yesterday) finishing my first e-book, The Wisdom of Serenity: Reclaiming Authentic Happiness.
I plan to offer this e-book as a free download later this month. It took me about three months, off and on, but I can honestly say it wasn’t WORK, it was LOVE. I enjoyed every moment – just as my wife, JoAnn, enjoys every moment of her quilting.
What’s your "labor of love?" How do you make love visible? Do you have any thoughts about Love you’d like to share?
I’d be delighted to hear from you. Please write, won't you?