The Sabbath

Working nine to five, five days a week is no picnic. Just like Loverboy said, everybody’s “Working for the weekend”, which I used to think meant that people have to work during the weekend. I wondered why Loverboy would write a song to celebrate that. But then my husband said that they were working during the week, for the weekend. You see, there is a difference.

Every week I work for the weekend. Meaning, I am working Monday to Friday, anxiously awaiting the weekend. And when the weekend comes, I celebrate. When I get home from work on Friday afternoon, I pour myself a cocktail, recline on the couch and find a Seinfeld re-run.

The weekends are meant to recharge the batteries that you deplete during the week. But often weekends are spent catching up on the stuff that you don’t have time for during the week: going grocery shopping or washing your car or mowing the lawn or visiting your mother-in-law or buying batteries; stuff you don’t necessarily want to do, but have to do.

Ah, but there is one day that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, and that day is called the Sabbath. It makes a lot of sense. It is the day of rest, and we all need rest, and it is the day to avoid work, chores or activities that won’t allow you your rest. You need your rest. You look tired.

The Sabbath applies to all, not just the “religious”, though it has its basis in the biblical text. The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew “shabbath”, which means “to rest”, or “to desist”. God created the Earth in six days (though the sun-dial and 24-hour clock had not yet been created, so in actual fact “six days” could have been 6 or 6,000 days). On the seventh day, He rested. He commanded us to do likewise: “For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work” (Deuteronomy 5:13,14).

There’s some debate about what day is the Sabbath. Some people work from the Monday to Sunday calendar and observe their Sabbath on the Sunday, while others work from the Sunday to Saturday calendar and observe on Saturdays. Some people think that it doesn’t matter what day you observe, just as long as you abstain from work, or activity for an entire day.

And for me, that day is today. I’m going to sleep late, drink coffee, read the newspaper, cuddle with my husband, and take a walk in the park. I’m not going to go grocery shopping or wash my car or mow my lawn or visit my mother-in-law or buy batteries (like I usually do on Sundays)! I’m going to recharge my metaphorical batteries instead and observe the Sabbath.

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