Pastor's Blog



Pastor Tenny - August 30, 2022

That’s what I think of on Labor Day. Potatoes.

Some of you have heard this story.

It was only about 3 acres. But, to us, it was a farm. Growing up in Ohio with Depression-era parents meant that you provided as much as you could for yourselves. We had an orchard with many varieties of fruit trees, animals of every kind, and a garden—a garden large enough to justify using our antique John Deere tractor to plow and disc it in preparation for summer crops.  The garden produced crops large enough to also use the tractor for harvesting in the Fall.

Labor Day weekend was always potato harvesting time. We made sure potatoes were planted by Memorial Day, so that they could be harvested by Labor Day. Our job, as kids, when we were old enough to drive the tractor, was to drive it straight down the row, while Dad muscled the V-shaped potato plow behind the tractor, splaying open the mounds of delicious new potatoes.  After gathering and cleaning the fresh potatoes, we stored them in the cold room in the basement.  We had almost enough every year to supply us with potatoes until the next year’s harvest.  

Wonderful memories now. But, at the time, it seemed like a lot of work—digging, cleaning, crating, carrying them down to the basement.

I wonder if you have memories like this, of things that seemed like a lot of work at the time, but now bring a smile as you recall them.  

Labor Day is a time to celebrate labor and the American worker. We all work. We all have our “daily load” we have to carry. With what attitude do we approach our work each day?

In Martin Luther’s morning prayer, after giving some suggestions about how to begin the day and some sample prayers, he concludes by saying, “Then go joyfully to your work…” At the time, digging potatoes wasn’t so joyful (except the tractor-driving part). So, I’m not sure that I would have described it as joyful back then. But, as I look back, the memories are joyful—times with Dad and my brothers, and the taste of fresh potatoes, whether mashed, baked, or prepared in one of Mom’s famous casseroles!

Whatever your work, whatever your daily load, whatever it is that fills your day…may you find that you are doing it for God’s glory, and that you are doing it with joy in your heart.

What are your “potatoes”?

Happy Labor Day!

Pastor Tenny