Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Shabbat shalom and learner drivers

Having spent a good part of last week(and indeed some of the week before) straightening things out in anticipation of wanderers returning (and needing to be able to get through the front door) and my taking some leave....and being so prepared, I got to the end of last week and thought I just have to keep plugging on.
I was rather flattened by the thought of the fact that it never seems to end.
I reflected on Saturday that I should pay attention to this feeling, and so decided that on Sunday I would do none of it. Even though much still remained to be done! I would have a sabbath. A deliberate rest. And I struggled a little, but I was glad that I did.
It has always concerned me that we have lost any real sense of deliberate rest. In almost every aspect of our lives, work, school, house work...we think it OK (at least for some of us) just to keep plugging on as though it doesn't matter, and as though we can.
And at what cost? In a society riddled with depression, family breakdown and all manner of things, do we at least ask the question as to whether some of the things that have gone by the bye in the name of progress or freedom of choice (this is after all how the retail world justifies opening shops 7 days a week) should be questioned.
Do we as people understand that we need to build in deliberate rest, and that it is not necessarily good to just keep 'plugging on'?
This is NOT ( in my mind) an attempt by a minor religious functionary (myself) to sermonise about the Sabbath, but to suggest that maybe there is something profoundly human (as opposed to religious) about the idea of sabbath. The periodic and deliberate rest built into the regular rhythm of life. About one day in seven seems sort of right.
7 day trading to my mind, is not about breaching religious rules but about forgetting that everyone has the right to human rest. Not only the right but the need. As with all these things, the people at the top of the chain are probably OK, the people at the other end probably need to be protected.
...by way of conclusion J & I were discussing the other day teaching our youngest children to drive..."Of course", he said, "when we learnt to drive you could go to Marion or some other large shopping centre on a Sunday afternoon and there were no cars around. Nowadays with 7 day trading there is never a time when these carparks are not pretty busy."
Another unintended loss of facility.
Treat yourself kindly!

No comments: