what happened to the “day of rest”?

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested.

Believe it, don’t believe it, that’s your business – this is not a discussion about creation, it’s about rest and reflection.

What happened to the “day of rest”?

day of restIf you’re 50 years old, you actually remember when the only businesses open on a Sunday were restaurants and convenience stores.

Grocery stores and malls were closed. No banking was done on a Sunday and you better have bought all your wine on Saturday because beer and liquor stores were closed too.

Sundays were for relaxing, family time, visiting friends, long walks in the fresh air and lunch at Grandma’s house. It was the day set aside to recharge the batteries after a week of work and chores.

You worked hard for six days and now it was time to sit down; reflect on what you accomplished and be grateful that you are able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

I remember when the retailers started lobbying to open on Sundays. They said they were doing it for us. How great it would be to have another day in the week that we could use to get done what we couldn’t get done from Monday to Saturday.

It was our best interest that they had in mind.

I knew then as I know now that it had nothing to do with us. It was all about getting us out to shop – and spend money – for another day. It was about greed.

The government held out as long as they could but how could they ignore the dollars being made by opening for just one more day. So followed Sunday hours for the liquor stores and the banks.

Now it seems, in North America at least, like we have forgotten how to rest.

I was just as guilty as the next person. My weekend “to do” list had me running around all day, both days. And even if we can’t think of anything we need, we go to the stores and malls anyway because we know we’ll find something that we’ve forgotten we need.

Have you been to a Walmart or a Costco on a Sunday? Or even worse, a Walmart or a Costco on a rainy Sunday!

Well, I have re-instated the “day of rest” in my home.

There are six days for working, cleaning, shopping, banking, and other chores but Sunday will be free from the “to do” list.

If it happens that, for some reason, I didn’t buy enough food and there is nothing for dinner (not bloody likely), we will order a pizza.

If your shirt didn’t get picked up from the dry cleaners on Saturday, you will have to wait until Monday.

Sunday is a day of rest for the vacuum too; no cleaning will be done on Sundays.

My Sundays will be spent doing things I enjoy. I will visit friends and family, go for a long walk with the dog, watch a movie in the afternoon with my daughter or cook a great meal.

Do you remember Sunday dinners? Sunday was the only day my mom had time to put together a roast dinner. Time she had because no stores were open, we looked forward to it every week. A day of rest can bring the family together.

Maybe I will choose to spend some quality time with myself and a good book, try out a new recipe or dust off that guitar in the corner. A day of rest gives you time to do something other than work.

Yesterday (Saturday), my boyfriend and I ran errands and cleaned the whole house so that we could have our day of rest. Today (Sunday) we slept in, had left overs for brunch and he read a book while I wrote this post (writing for my blog is never a chore). There was no guilt in taking this day of rest because we knew we had worked for it. It was a wonderful weekend!

I truly think that the world would be a lot less stressed if we brought back the “day of rest”. Stress is the number one cause of heart attacks and strokes in North America so anything you can do to reduce stress is good for your health. If we took some time every week to calm down, rest and recharge, it would probably reduce the number of really angry people in this world. A lot of angry people are just stressed and tired!

I know that they aren’t going stop Sunday shopping and maybe your job requires you to work on Sundays. So Sunday isn’t your day of rest, pick another day. Maybe Wednesday is your day of rest; just take one. You may be surprised that the world won’t fall apart without you for that one day.

It’s a bunch of bull crap when people say that they are too busy to take a day of rest. You are only as busy as you make yourself. If you got sick – or had that heart attack or stroke – you would have to take time off to get better so why not take that day when you’re well.

It’s one day that has the power to strengthen your relationships, enrich your world and maybe even save your life.

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Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Excellent!!!!! You see so right. When we used to go to Nova Scotia they still had the day of rest. Maybe that’s one reason why they are so much friendlier down there!

    • Sad to say that Nova Scotia now has Sunday shopping. They opened it up about 6 years ago, info confirmed by a friend of mine in Halifax.
      I asked because, if they still had the day of rest, I was seriously thinking of packing up and moving there!

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