Day of Unemployment
During this year of the consecrated life, we’ve been looking at the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. A part of poverty is being poor enough to obey God, to allow him to fashion and direct our lives. The richer a person is in this world’s goods, the more he can make his own decisions. The poor must often look to others. The poor in spirit look to God (see Luke 16:9-13).
An important part of poverty is what could be called “a day of unemployment.” The Lord’s Day, Sunday, was created by God for us to embrace as a day of rest. Like God in the two versions of the creation story (Genesis 1 and 2), we are called to work, to create, to use the earth and our talents and then to rest on the Sabbath. Most Christians observe Sunday as the Sabbath because it is indeed the Great Day of the week, the day of the Resurrection. It is a day to step away from the ordinary and to rest in the Holy.
Some groups, such as clergy, peace officers, health care workers and others may have to work on the Sabbath. They are the exception to the rule, to the call do life differently on Sundays.
This obviously involves structuring our lives differently the other six days of the week. We all have the same amount of time: the governor of Texas and the grandmother in assisted living. The refreshment of rest, worship, time with family and simple fun and recreation on a day that we can look forward to each week is a priceless gift. That’s why God planned it! Make the other six days serve the Sabbath and prepare for it.
The most important way to do this is daily prayer. Giving God a set few minutes every day invites him into the calendar so that he can arrange and work with time in sometimes amazing ways. (Remember what he did with a few loaves and fish in Matthew 14:13-21?)
During the prayer time, ask God’s blessings and shepherding of the events and hours of the day. Picture the Lord as the Good Shepherd and the sheep as the hours, the minutes and the events of the day. See the lurking wolf who wants to make panic, perfectionism, “workaholism”, disorganization, poor choices and even habits of sin run amok among the flock, killing and maiming. Let God be the shepherd!
Prayerfully plan the week so that there is no laundry, homework, household repairs, work project, organizational meeting or study to interfere with Mass, prayer, family time, recreation and even catching up with the week’s lost sleep.
God’s plan is for Sunday to be a wonderful day we all look forward to.