Monday, April 28, 2014

a day of rest

in the history of the earth, there is one commandment that is older than all other commandments: that of keeping the sabbath day holy.  in fact, the sabbath as a rest day, is a concept that spans many, different religions.

i think back on my own life and have considered my parents' teachings and practices regarding sabbath rest.  i recall a time, when i was young, seeing the mall parking lot completely empty on sunday.  our church was located just across the street from the mall and so we could easily observe how quiet the mall was on sundays.  generally speaking, the whole town was quiet and peaceful on sunday.

as i grew older, sunday little league baseball games began to spring up.  i never played baseball due to this fact: that little league was played on sunday.

by the time i was in high school, sunday was nearly indistinguishable from saturday.  the mall was just as busy as saturday; the town was just as busy as weekdays; people were on the roads and going places.

but my family's traditions stayed the same.  we'd attend church on sunday.  after church, we either ate dinner or dessert at my grandparent's home or at my aunt's home.  my dad, sister and i would go on peaceful walks on the local community college campus.  if we weren't visiting friends, family or neighbors, we were sitting in the living room reading the newspaper or scriptures.  usually, we'd listen to quiet classical music all day long.  then at night, mom would make a small snack and my dad and i would settle into a nice game of chess.

i recall these times with fondness.  sunday truly was different than the other six days.  and when sunday was over, i was really ready for monday and the rest of the week.  my reserves were replenished and i felt motivated and eager.

however, i lament today's sundays.  two or three sundays each month are filled with meetings and busyness.  saturdays are so crammed, that we don't have time to prepare for the sabbath and therefore we are sleepy on sunday.  the kids expect to be entertained and if they aren't entertained, they expect to be able to bounce around and be loud.  if you lay down to take a nap, you are filled with excessive guilt for not doing something.  and when the evening finally comes, you still fill drained and you wish there were one more day between sunday and monday so that you could prepare for the work week.

where has the quiet gone?
where is the soft music?
where is the reverence?
where are the sacred sundays?
where are the gentle conversations?

it is a sad commentary, but sometimes i have mondays where there are no meetings and nothing on my calendar.  the quiet office is a refuge from the busy sunday and i look forward to getting through sunday to get to that monday.