What does a human need to survive?
Food, water, shelter. But does food materialise on our plates, does water fill our pipes on its own, does shelter erect itself?
Because of carpenters, bricklayers we have shelter. Because of plumbers we have water. Because of farmers we have food.
Our survival is owed to blue collared individuals with calloused hands.
Consider the roads you drive on, the paths you walk on. Inch by inch, hot tarmac was laid down. What tedious work has been done for us. Yet it can be easy to react poorly when roadworks interrupt our day.
I’m thankful for mechanics. I couldn’t do what they do. The times I’ve worked on my own car it’s resulted in oil spills, broken tools and a big temper! Mechanics took years to learn and become competent.
Our comfort, hot showers, insulated rooms, working car, didn’t come for free.
Surely we can agree that the labour of the working class is crucial for both our survival and quality of life. Yet, for careers so paramount to society, they are so poorly esteemed. Empty of prestige. People may even silently judge you if you told them that you were a garbage man.
This is the upside down we live in.
In many arenas of life, what the world values, God does not. What God values the world does not. Isn’t it backwards that athletes and actors get paid exorbitant amounts while labourers get paid a meagre amount. The world values entertainment. God values servanthood.
What is first in this world, will be last in the next.
God loves servanthood and the working class are the servants of our society.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark chapter 10, verse 45)
Jesus is declaring this his purpose. How high is the call to serve others if Jesus himself valued it so?
While we may think serving others is a chore. Jesus showed us how this thinking is upside down. Serving others isn’t an exercise in tedium but an exercise in greatness.
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom as many.” (Matthew chapter 20, verse 26 to 28)
Esteeming the working class
God sees every brick laid, every toilet cleaned, every tyre changed, every trench dug, every beam raised and he values and honours it. He is delighted by it and stores up a reward.
While the working class may be disregarded by some, God truly cherishes it. He cherishes the toil of the garbage man and every blue collared person sacrificing their time and energy.
So let this drive us to be thankful for all the services we receive and all the comfort we are afforded. We would truly be at a loss without them.
Roden Meares enjoys playing basketball, reading comics and going to the gym. He has a passion for evangelising and helping others in their faith through writing.
Roden’s previous articles can be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/roden-meares.html