As we were driving along the interstate on the way to our family Christmas celebration, I was intrigued by which stores were open and which were not. It was like some stores were saying, “Without me, the world would stop spinning. I absolutely can not close my doors, even for one day.” Others were saying something more like, “All those other fools are closed. Lots of people will be unprepared. I’m going to rake in all the profits for myself.” But most stores were quietly closed in observance of something much bigger than themselves. While the Christian in me hope that “something bigger” was the celebration of our Lord’s birth, I don’t pretend to believe that is the case across the board. Some were observing materialism, some just avoiding a conflict with their employees, and others were simply taking the only day off they will take all year.
All those empty parking lots, dark store fronts, and lack of neon signs got me thinking. It wasn’t all that long ago that nearly everything was closed on Sunday. What a marvelous idea that was. It’s really a shame we have strayed from that practice. Again, the Christian in me rejoices in the thought of our nation banding together to set aside a day for the Lord, but I’m not naive. However, as I’ve discovered is usually the case, when we do follow God’s laws, it’s actually good for us as well.
If our nation were to shut down on Sunday, as it does on Christmas day, think of all the good that would come. How many families don’t have a single day off together? They’re practically strangers in living under the same roof. In our overworked, overstressed, overtired society, a mandatory day off would work wonders for our physical and mental well-being. Now, I know most 9-5ers are already “off” on Sunday, but how many actually spend the day relaxing? If it’s not possible to go to the home improvement store, the grocery store, or run any other errands, one might actually take a day of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. One might even spend it getting to know their family.
AND think about this: wouldn’t you love to know how much energy was saved yesterday with the majority of businesses, warehouses, stores, and restaurants out of commission? I know I would! Can you even imagine how much we as a nation could reduce our carbon footprint just by closing up shop one day each week?? All this talk about going green, yet this incredibly simple solution, that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary a few years back, sits in front of us unconsidered.
I promise, despite what you think, we could all manage just fine with out the plethora of hedonistic options open and waiting for us on one single day. The world would not stop spinning if we slowed down and shut things off for one day each week. Most things shut down yesterday and the world resumed as normal today. Why not make it a regular occurrence?
Just think about it: good for God (although you wouldn’t have to acknowledge that if you didn’t want to), good for self, good for family, good for the earth.
This is why politicians shouldn’t be in charge. They can’t think this simply. I think should start “a day of rest” movement. And, if anyone knows if the energy saved yesterday is somehow measurable, I would love to know about it.
Here’s to a national weekly day of rest!