Today we were on our way to church when a car pulled up beside us at s stop sign. It was a nice new convertible. The woman in the passenger seat was wearing a bathing suit and there was a young boy in the back. I heaved a big sigh because some Sundays I would much rather be hanging out and having another Saturday. Mormons are big-time Sabbath keepers. Sunday is the day for church and family, thinking about God, napping (being the Day of Rest and all) and maybe taking a leisurely stroll. There is no eating out, no swimming or sports and absolutely no shopping. The idea being that we don’t want to cause anyone to break the commandment of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.*
When we were travelling home from Arizona a couple of months ago, our trip spilled over onto a Sunday. Obviously if you’re travelling you have to buy gas and food and all even though it’s the Sabbath, so we decided to stop at the Costco in El Paso to grab some hot dogs. Holy Cow! Costco on Sunday is even crazier that Costco on Saturday! Maybe the El Paso Costco is always that way. But we could barely find a parking spot! Is this what Sunday is? The day of shopping? I had no idea!
Part of me really likes having a day that we don’t have to worry about most of the cares of the world. We don’t have to think about errands or kids’ birthday parties (a Sunday invitation is an automatic no). It’s a day to recharge ourselves spiritually and physically. I also love having my kids around me for an entire day without everyone scattering in a million different directions.
I needed to talk to one of the women in the ward when I was at church today. I hadn’t seen her during Sacrament meeting so I asked one of her friends if she would be there for either of the other meetings (church is three hours long and consists of three separate meetings). “No, she was really tired and wanted to sleep in and just have an at-home day”, her friend told me. I really felt like screaming. I would like nothing more than sleeping in and having an at-home day too! What makes her think that we all love being at church? It’s like being on a diet and having someone tell you that they can’t diet because they like sweets too much. I like sweets too!
A lot of time doing the right thing is the harder, less fun choice. And yes, I think going to church is the right choice. No matter what religion you are, spending time thinking about something other than yourself and what you feel like doing is a good thing. Especially if you’re encouraged to be loving and kind to other people. But it’s not a fun choice. It’s not entertaining. It’s like eating vegetables. It’s the best choice as far as eating goes, but it’s not exactly the tastiest choice. Some people really love veggies–to the point of being a vegetarian–but there are a lot of people who go days–or even weeks–without eating their veg. I think we could all agree that vegetables will never taste as good as a cookie. But you need to eat food that is nourishing. And church is kind of like vegetables. Maybe not the funnest or most exciting but it’s the thing that will keep your spirit healthiest.
And so the family in the convertible turned right today; going to the lake or maybe to the water park. We turned left as we always do and went to church. Just like every week.
*There are plenty of crappy Mormons who shop/go boating/eat out on Sundays. If we see them we usually shout, “booooo” and thrown rotten food at them. Just kidding. I’ve struggled with Sabbath-keeping at different points in my life. We all make choices and will have to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. But it’s one of the Ten Commandments, so you can’t really argue with that.
6 thoughts on “Day of Rest”
This post is hlarious to me today. Today I had to get diapers at Walmart, went to eat at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, and my husband is golfing as I type. All on a Sunday. We never do this, BUT…his brother is moving to California on Tuesday after being offered the job on Friday so this is literallly the last time my in-laws and my family will see him before he moves (which is also why my hubby is golfing with him) and I forgot to get diapers yesterday.
Its weird though, I like you would sometimes love another Saturday. Sometimes it is really hard because we have 1pm church and my 2 year old is so stinking cranky after church…grrrr. But we do it, we may not always love it but we do it.
I feel ya on this one. Sunday is an important day, but often times it’s a real struggle.
I truthful, insightful post! Thank you!
You know, I’m curious, though. I wonder why Mormons and Amish seem to be the only Sabbeth Keepers in America. So many Protestants and Catholics, even Evangelical, claim to be fervent and faithful believers, but not in the Sabbeth Commandment. How do they justify that? One Methodist friend said, “I already DID keep the Sabbeth holy. I went to church this morning.” So, I guess it’s “keep the Sabbeth hour holy.” (she was on her way to the movies, which, you know, are SOOOOO holy these days.)
I LOVE that you’re writing a blog a day! How do you make time?
LOL, “Crappy Mormons”! That one’s going to keep a smile on my face today. 🙂
And yes, I agree on pretty much all points here. I really can’t wrap my head around the going to church, then golfing, out to lunch, etc. Especially in the south! I mean, EVERYONE goes to church. Chick fil a and Hobby Lobby are closed…if they get it, why doesn’t everyone else? Weird to me.
But if I could pick one sin to be excused from, it would be Mothers Day Brunch. My fantasy. Because I’m pretty sure, I’m not getting that much great food, dish-free, at home. *sigh*
One of my favorite stories I heard in a priesthood class was from a friend who worked in a office that was all LDS men. They compared notes and the description was breathtaking. It appeared that everyone in each family was miserable except the mom who was kind of the trail boss/overlord/enforcer of rules. This was a “everyone stays in Sunday clothes” era. No TV, no internet, no playing outside the guys hated seeing Sunday coming.