Monday, August 24, 2009

Rest, Renewal, Rejuvenation!

The painting on the left, titled Renewal is by artist Rachel Baum. For her, the 7 boxes represent the year 2007. For me, the 7 boxes could represent the cycle of the week, culminating with The Sabbath Day (a time of Renewal for me).

I saw a cartoon of 2 kids out walking with the verse bubble stating: "Our Grandfathers called it The Sabbath, Our Fathers called it Sunday, .... And We call it The Weekend."

It feels like Saturdays and Sundays have secularly morphed into days without much to distinguish one day from the other. But it wasn't always this way. When we lived in Massachusetts in the early 1980's The Blue Laws were still in effect where retail stores were all closed on Sunday. It was kind of funny to move from Utah to Boston and have Boston be the place where everything was closed on Sunday. (Who'd have thought?!) Eventually the Blue Laws were deemed unconstitutional - I think in 1994(?) so I'm sure the retail in Massachusetts is like the rest of the country: crowded shopping malls all weekend long!

While the Sabbath Day is founded on a religious premise; I think it's sage counsel for any community. There is merit in the idea of a work week of 5 days, a day of play (Saturday) and a day of rest (Sunday). Having a time of refuge is a healthy way to recharge! As it says in the Bible: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27

In the book, "Sabbath," Wayne Muller calls the Sabbath Day a time of "Pampering for the Soul." I love that description! Sundays can be a good day to disconnect from the frenzy of consuming and from all the stimulus competing for our attention. Muller talks about the seductions of modern life crying out to us all week long: "Buy me. Watch me. Try me. Drink me." A Sunday of relaxation leaves us feeling nourished spiritually and refreshed enough to take on the fast pace and challenges of the week ahead! I'm never as good as I should be about honoring the Sabbath but I definitely like the concept of pampering my soul!