Saturday night. Almost Sunday.
A shift in the mindset is about to happen.
It does every Saturday night, but this one in particular. I’ve been thinking all week about what has happened to the Sunday traditions I was raised with.
It started last Sunday when my phone rang around 10:30 in the morning. It was a real number–meaning that it didn’t show “Unknown Caller” or a 1-800 number on the caller ID. So I answered it even though I didn’t recognize it. Sometimes I throw caution to the wind like that. Don’t get excited though, it’s not very often.
“Yes, hello. I’m so and so and I’m calling for this agency which raises funds for this group of people and we can really use your support because it’s important to us and your support allows us to continue to exist which totally betters your life as a matter of fact we don’t know if you’re aware, but life without this organization would be totally unbearable, so—-”
Okay it was something like that. I’m not quoting him verbatim here.
“Ummm, I’m sorry. Ummmm.” Calmly, Tara. Be kind. “I’m sorry, are you aware it’s Sunday? Sunday morning?” I paused. “This just isn’t a good time.”
“Oh ma’am I’m sorry. I’m not a part of the organization, I work for the group who does the fundraising, so please don’t be upset with the organization.”
I ended the call with suggesting to this man that while I realize he is trying to make a living, perhaps he should tell his supervisor that Sunday morning is not a good choice of times to call people.
Frankly, I was shocked. I thought that Sundays, especially Sunday mornings were considered sacred and respected, pretty much across the board, whether folks were church goers or not. The unwritten do’s and do not’s of the day so to speak. I guess not so much anymore.
Growing up we weren’t always involved in a church. So for different periods of our lives our Sunday mornings were free. During the springs and summers, if we hadn’t gotten it all done on Saturday or if we’d been otherwise occupied or if the weather had been off, the grass would still need mowing on Sunday. If it were any other day of the week, Daddy would wait only long enough for the dew to dry up and then head out as soon as possible after, so it wouldn’t be too hot for the job at hand. But not on Sundays. He didn’t let us start that mower up one minute before noon, and he never did either. I always thought it was out of respect for the other folks who lived nearby, but maybe it was his way of tipping his hat to how he was raised. Much like my “no doing laundry on New Year’s Day.” A tradition continued out of respect for our past and our people.
We didn’t go to the store on Sunday unless we absolutely needed something. And if we did happen to go (always after the morning church hours), we sure didn’t tell our Granny. Sunday was the Sabbath, and things like that would have upset her greatly. Or so I grew up believing.
Sunday was the day Mama often fried chicken for dinner. It was a quiet day. (Well I guess not for her, bless her.) We might read or finish up homework or watch the Sunday afternoon movie on one of the local channels. Some Sundays might find us taking a drive…..and winding up at my Granny’s for a visit. It’s what we did. And by evening, it was either potluck night or I made waffles on the old waffle iron. Waffle nights. Those are good memories. I even made up my own recipe for peach syrup out of the peaches we’d frozen the previous summer.
Okay, pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.
I am not judging those who do not take their Sundays “off.” There are folks who have no choice. Their job might require them to work that day. Or they might have something that needs doing and it cannot wait another day at all. Even the Good Book addresses those situations, when Jesus told some folks that sometimes things just need doing on a Sunday, and that’s okay. **
I am not judging the man who called me last Sunday. He was, after all, doing his job. I am just wondering, in a curious sort of way, where we are heading. I actually rather like the inconvenience of not being able to get a meal at one of our favorite places on a Sunday. And not being able to shop at the craft store. Or the on-line yard sale site. Or our favorite used book store. All those things suggest this day is different from all the others. Set apart. I like not calling folks early or knocking on doors before noon. Sometimes the old ways make sense. And they help us take care of ourselves.
Tomorrow is Sunday. I’m going to try to slow down a bit and remember what that means. We’ve come a long way from the days when the constable could penalize you if he caught you working on the Sabbath. (We watched the Revolutionary War period movie “Johnny Tremain” on Friday. Intense.) And yet, I do hope we don’t go too far in the other direction. I don’t think we were made to fill up each one of our days with someTHING to do or someplace to be.
Sometimes it can’t be helped. But when it can…..
I think we might take a Sunday drive tomorrow. And maybe, just maybe, I might pull out that waffle iron.
Love and a restful Sunday to you all.
**Luke 14:4-6 They were silent. So he took the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. Then he said, “Is there anyone here who, if a child or animal fell down a well, wouldn’t rush to pull him out immediately, not asking whether or not it was the Sabbath?” They were stumped. There was nothing they could say to that.
**Matthew 12:11-14 He replied, “Is there a person here who, finding one of your lambs fallen into a ravine, wouldn’t, even though it was a Sabbath, pull it out? Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!” Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out and it was healed. The Pharisees walked out furious, sputtering about how they were going to ruin Jesus.