Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Constitutes an Ox in the Mire?

Since I don’t like sour cream I never remember to have it on hand when I fix enchiladas. Since Andie loves sour cream she can hardly imagine eating enchiladas without it.

After the church block of meetings on Sunday the girls took in the Palo Alto Creche Exhibit and realized on their way home that we were having chicken enchiladas for dinner and we were out of sour cream.

They considered pulling an “ox in the mire” rationale to purchase a pint on Sunday and smartly decided that wouldn’t really be justified. Sour cream is clearly a want and not a need.

Then, they came up with a clever alternate plan wherein they’d score some sour cream without making a purchase. While, not exactly stealing, they thought they’d just grab a free side order of sour cream. Unfortunately, Whole Foods charges for their sides which kind of foiled the plan to not-technically-shop on Sunday.

In a last failed attempt, they came home and tried to make sour cream from a Paula Dean recipe. The yogurt/butter combination didn’t work so well either. So, we ate our chicken enchiladas just the way I like them, plain-with-no-toppings.

But while shopping on Sunday is on my mind, here is some good advice from a BYU professor on Sabbath observance:

“Jesus never implied that pulling one’s oxen from the mire was acceptable Sabbath performance - he merely admitted necessity. When he stated that the Sabbath was made for man, he meant that in a positive way.

A Sabbath contributes. It pertains. It does not restrict or annoy, detract or make idle. The Lord’s day is to lead us in the Lord’s work, and the Lord’s work is to bring to pass our salvation and eternal life. Sabbath thoughts and activities should be so oriented.

The Sabbath is for our sakes. The Sabbath is a day of rest from the ways of the world. It is a day of reevaluation and restoration.

On the Sabbath day we should orient ourselves toward being more fully as our Father is - doing his work, serving others, visiting the sick, encouraging the lonely, loving our mothers and fathers, wives, husbands, and children. We should be seeking forgiveness, searching the word of the Lord, fasting and praying, and seeking with all our power to bring ourselves and our brothers and sisters closer to him and his Holy Spirit.

Whatever we do less than this is waste, and it is not our oxen we keep in the mire, but ourselves.” -Richard G. Ellsworth, Professor of English at BYU