Sabbath: a regular (usually weekly) time of rest, worship, and/or special activity, observed by any of several religions and traditions. [Wikipedia]
I’ve been thinking lately about the religious admonition to “honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.” When I was growing up in East Tennessee, pretty much everything except churches were closed on Sunday. Grocery stores and diners, maybe, were open, but with limited hours. Most people in the Southern US are familiar with “blue laws” that prohibit businesses from operation on Sunday, even if they are rare these days.
Over the years, we’ve all gotten past such archaic ideas, haven’t we? Sunday’s just another day, substitute church for work if you are of the Christian persuasion.
So I am astonished to realize how I have come to cherish my Sundays, because they are the one day I am free to relax. No plans, no commitments, no nothing unless I voluntarily agree to take it on. My day of rest. I mooch around the house, read the paper, MAYBE go to the grocery store if we didn’t manage to get there on Saturday. Knit, watch TV, read a book, take a nap, rent a movie. I need this time, this day, this respite from the world. It is precious to me, and I do not willingly yield it.
So that “honor the Sabbath” stuff is ancient wisdom speaking to me today. Not the bad old days where everything was closed. The inner Sabbath, the need for regular retreat from the vortex of modern society. I take mine every Sunday. When’s yours?