5 ways to exercise your right (to rest!)
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 4:45 AM
It's Labor Day, and we as a nation pause to celebrate workers and the value of human labor in building up society. I was thinking that if we have a Labor Day, then we should also have a Rest Day. Then I realized that God already gave us one each week, it's called Sunday. The problem is that we have transformed Sunday into Run-day, an errand filled, catch up on work period of exhausting toil. This is not what God had in mind.
Blessed John Paul II wrote, "Rest from work is a right." (Laborem Exercens, No. 19 )
In fact, the Bible tells us, "On the seventh day God completed the work He had been doing; He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work He had done in creation." (Genesis 2:2-3)
Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition are two pretty good reasons to recognize that God wants you to take a day off and not let Sunday become Run-day. So it's time to listen to God. I hope my list of "5 ways to exercise your right (to rest!)" helps:
1. Plan Ahead. - The bottom line is that one should not do work-like errands on Sunday. Do your unpleasant chores on Saturday. Window-shopping and grocery shopping are two different things. Get the milk and eggs stocked up in advance.
2. Power Down. - Unless you are a trauma surgeon, the world probably does not need to receive your e-mails and texts. Give yourself a 10-minute window to make sure that there are no emergencies, and then power down.
3. Do What You Love. - Macramé or macaroni art, museums or martial arts, music or motocross, everyone has their delightful thing. Block out some time on Sundays to do what you love.
4. See Family and Friends. - Time goes quickly, and before you know it your toddler is pledging a fraternity. Call up family and friends and invite them over. The menu is less important than the meal.
5. Pray! - God gives us 168 hours in a week, and he asks us to give him one back. The 167 hours are his gift to us; the one hour at Mass is our gift back. Also, take a few minutes before or after Mass to name your blessings and say thanks. Most of the times those blessing will be sitting right next to you in church.
God asks us to rest, to keep holy the Sabbath, because he knew we needed it. What is the point of gaining the whole world when you're too exhausted to enjoy it?