Not until after college did I truly understand the importance and beauty of “the weekend.” The real world doesn’t allow for snow days, cancelled classes or generous professors. Instead, schedules remain consistent, and responsibilities grow. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that silent happy dances occur most Fridays around 5 o’clock.
Along with genuinely appreciating Saturdays for the first time, I have also come to have a deep respect and love for Sundays. Growing up, Sundays were sacred in my family. I didn’t like it at the time, but my parents’ rules about Sunday were about as strict as any: no going to a friend’s house, no shopping, no eating out, no working, no watching TV before morning church, naps were strongly recommended. (If you didn’t take one, quiet time was mandatory from about 1-3:30 p.m.) And evening church was usually required. Living on a farm out in the country made it easy to keep Sundays sacred. There wasn’t anywhere else to go, and the nearest open store was about an hour away. As a child, I was under the impression that the whole world shut down the way we did on Sunday.
When college came, so did the responsibility for me to handle Sundays on my own. Now it was up to me to decide how I would make this day holy. I learned quickly that the world doesn’t shut down, nor does it make it easy to set this day aside. It didn’t take long for me to let this day blur together with the rest of the weekend. There was always a knot of responsibility in my stomach that twisted when I went outside of the guidelines in which I was raised.
Now that I am out of college, my world spins faster than it ever has. It most likely has a lot to do with wedding plans, three part-time jobs and impending future decisions constantly on my mind, but it seems life just keeps getting busier. This has made separating Saturday and Sunday even more difficult. It is easy to get done on Sunday what was procrastinated on Saturday, and eventually the two days get blended together and stamped “the weekend.” Sure, I attend church, but what about those groceries I forgot to get on Saturday or the blazing Jimmy John’s sign that screams, “This is freaky faster than making lunch on your own!” Oh! And there is a sale at the mall, and ugh — laundry. Finally somewhere between the Sunday football time clock and the dryer buzzing, you realize it is 7 p.m. Where did the day of rest go? Did I even rest?
I found a sense of freedom and liberty in college when I was first able to spend my Sundays doing what I wanted and not what my family expected. But as I grow up, and it is less about discovery and more about respect, I realize forced Sunday naps and unplugged TVs might not be such a bad idea. Not only is a day of rest necessary for our physical health, but God demands it for our spiritual health.
As my fiancé and I continue to prepare for our upcoming wedding, topics like these arise. How will we pave the way for our own family? We have come to realize our time of discovery is up, and now it is time to make these decisions on our own. Whose family’s Sunday traditions will we keep?
Even if you aren’t engaged, how are you making these decisions as an adult? How do you plan to (or already) remember the Sabbath day? What traditions do you plan to set in place for your future family?