Growing up in a small northwest Florida town, we were forced into taking a Sunday Sabbath. There wasn’t much to miss as the town only had 6,000 residents and there were very limited entertainment options. There was no movie theater, no bowling alley, no putt-putt golf course, and certainly no water park or arcade. Our Sundays, by today’s standards, were quiet and unscheduled, a clear break from the rest of the week.
I could count on two things happening on Sundays when I was growing up: going to church and then eating a large family meal together after. If a rare activity occurred outside of family time, it could be anything a creative mind could imagine. Once when a new road was built, the county planted grass on the steep side of the road to keep the soil from eroding. After the grass covered all the topsoil, refrigerator boxes acquired from Western Auto became our Florida sleds and we would race to the bottom.
While Sundays were perfect for a hike along the Chattahoochee River, a swim at the lake, or hunting for Indian artifacts, mostly we just slowed down. Often, we did nothing at all.
I didn’t think of any of this last Sunday when I worked in my yard for almost three hours. While I’ve been taking a weekly break from technology and screens for a few years, I haven’t always left house-projects, outside chores, and office work alone.
We aren’t designed to work all the time. We need rest, recuperation, and weekly pauses to disengage from our mental activity.
Chris-Tia Donaldson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thank God It’s Natural, a manufacturer of natural hair and skin care products. She wrote about taking a Sunday Sabbath in a recent LinkedIn post:
“I realized that, in the corporate world, observing the Sabbath is rarely ever practiced, with Chick-fil-A being one of the few exceptions to the rule. Their policy of closing on Sundays is more than just a religious-based one; it allows their employees to rest and reminds their customers it’s OK to do the same.”
A good reminder for us as well.