Blog #559 A day of Rest!

The Sabbath Manifesto

As I found yesterday’s blog – Unplugged – the idea that on March 1 (at sundown) to March 2 (at sundown), people can try to live without technology (that is – ‘unplugging’ computers, phone (chargers), tablets, whatever) – the same group has the Sabbath Manifesto.

This group writes about the purpose of the sabbath:

“Way back when, God said, “On the seventh day thou shalt rest.”  The meaning behind it was simple: Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.”

“Somewhere along the line, however, this mantra for living faded from modern consciousness. The idea of unplugging every seventh day now feels tragically close to impossible. Who has time to take time off? We need eight days a week to get tasks accomplished, not six.

“The Sabbath Manifesto was developed in the same spirit as the Slow Movement, slow food, slow living, by a small group of artists, writers, filmmakers and media professionals who, while not particularly religious, felt a collective need to fight back against our increasingly fast-paced way of living. The idea is to take time off, deadlines and paperwork be damned.”

“In the Manifesto, we’ve adapted our ancestors’ rituals by carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and get with loved ones. The ten principles are to be observed one day per week, from sunset to sunset. We invite you to practice, challenge and/or help shape what we’re creating.”

I do remember when Sundays (for Christians), and Friday night to Saturday night (for Jews) were taken off.  There were not stores open on Sundays. No grocery stores, no clothing stores, not much. There were some restaurants that were open, and (of course) some gas stations for travels going from Austin to Minneapolis to get gas on Sunday.  But, the day was a day of rest – a day to do things with the family – probably starting with a church/religious service in the morning, maybe a big lunch (which our family called “Dinner” – even though during the week, dinner was the evening meal), maybe visit some relatives or friends, play board games, take a walk, go to the parks – in other words – relax.  Somehow things crept into that day of rest. Stores started to be open, activities other than family activities took over. The basketball team could practice on Sunday – after all, nothing else is going on. But then people started to go to the stores – almost as a form of relaxing. (Or as some of my friends say “retail therapy”). In a few years, it became hard for families to do things together.  Teenagers were working in part-time jobs on Sundays (to save for college or to spend on things they “just had to have”!!) Mom remembered that she ‘needed’ something for the upcoming week at the grocery store.. Dad thought – with the rest of the family busy, I could go back to my office and get some things done and caught up on email.

I also remember the concept of the Sabbath spiritually.  If God, the omnipotent, took the seventh day off, we should too!!  Genesis Chapter 2, verse 2 and 3 has this: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Then from the Ten Commandments (Exodus Chapter 20) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

So, why are we NOT resting one day a week?  Why are we hurrying around like crazy?

Of course, I am retired now – and maybe all days have a bit of rest to them for me.  (Yes, I find that a nice nap in the afternoon does refresh me!!!). But, in reflecting, maybe all of us can take a little time off; maybe all of us can find some time / some day during out busy weeks to rest and create our own concept of a Sabbath (or maybe go back to those easier times and make Sunday – or whatever) a true day of rest!!!

What do you think? Time to back off a little?


Posted by Bruce White

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