Labor Day is a time when many people take a break from the daily grind. It's also a good time to reflect on why our work matters to God.
One of the key points that emerged from the Protestant Reformation was the sacredness of all professions, not just the ministry.
CBN custodian Stephen Pierce is a man who lives that idea with great passion.
"It's work, but I'm worshipping; when I'm in that restroom, I'm finding myself in the Lord," Pierce told CBN News. "I am entering into the presence of God while I'm in the restroom working, sir."
Pierce sees his work as much more than the tasks he's assigned.
"If you get trapped up in the work part of it, then you have lost the whole meaning of why you're here," he said. "I don't look at it just as work. I look at it as a calling. I'm here ministering -- cleaning, worshipping and ministering while I do what I do."
CBN News medical correspondent Lori Johnson calls Pierce "a great example."
"He's just such a great example of how you can work and honor God and glorify God every moment of the day, regardless of what you do," Johnson said.
And that, according to R.C. Sproul, Jr., is our calling as Christians.
"Our tendency in the evangelical church is to separate our spiritual life from our ordinary life." Sproul, Jr., said. "If we can have the perspective that we're working for the kingdom and we're working for Jesus and that our work is a sacrifice to Him, we end up richly rewarded."
'A Breath of Fresh Air'
CBN News senior international correspondent George Thomas said, "It's a breath of fresh air. To come across a gentleman like this who, you know, not only does what he does with excellence, it's beyond just this -- the job he's called to do every day, day in and day out. It shows the fact that he does it unto the Lord."
In his letter to the church at Colossus, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." Pierce said that scripture resonates with him.
"If I did everything for myself, I would probably be a multi-millionaire by now. But what I do is not for me. It's never for me, it's never about me," he says. "It's all about God…it has always been about God in my life. So when I work, I am truly working unto the Lord, sir."
Pierce has it right, according to pastor and author Tim Keller, who's written about connecting your work to God's work in his book, "Every Good Endeavor."
"All work is rearranging the raw material of God's creation for the purpose of human flourishing," Keller says. "In the process you make money, and sometimes you even get self-esteem, but if money and self-esteem are the main reasons you work, the work will be boring and very often it won't add to other people's lives."
Stephen definitely adds to other people's lives, encouraging everyone.
Soldiers in God's Army
When people walk by, he'll call them brother or sister -- and some he calls someone soldier.
"That's because [of] who we are. We're soldiers in the Lord," he explains. "He has called us to stand on the front line and proclaim the Gospel."
Stephens himself is like a soldier in God's army, constantly armed and ready to give hope and encouragement.
Many are surprised that he never seems to have a bad day.
"He, he doesn't," Thomas said. "I don't think he knows what that means."
"I made up my mind you will never see that," Stephens says. "No one will ever see that of me. You will not see me looking downcast, frustrated, confused -- you will not see that in me."
Ministry of Encouragement
"God has called me to a ministry of encouragement. How can I encourage you if I'm all down and all broken and all torn up inside?" he continues. "What type of light will I be to you?"
And when he does have a bad day, his answer is worship.
"It's all about worship because I serve an awesome God. I serve a God who tells me to cast all my cares upon Him," he says.
"What I'm going through has already been taken care of. The position that I take now through the battle or through the storm that I go through is worship," he says smiling. "I gotta worship Him, I gotta worship my way through whatever transpires in my life."
The hierarchy here on earth is vastly different than the hierarchy of heaven.
"A lot of times I look at him and I think, 'I bet I'm going to be serving him one of these days in heaven,'" Webb said.
*Orignally published Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2013.