February 6, 2010
Can I say that Sundays are different? Sundays are not really any different than they have always been as an arbitrary, moving time measurement. But what I do on my Sundays has changed. Of course I have the luxury of being able to look back on a lot of Sundays in my life and see in retrospect that there was a change; in activities.
Sunday is called the beginning of the week, on our calendar at least, but for most of my adult life Sunday was the end. Many people call it the day of rest after six days of labor. I used to labor every Sunday too, for many, many years getting up early and getting ready for church. I even taught Sunday School for a year, which was a lot of work. But eventually I stopped struggling over church, and at first even treated Sunday as a day of rest. I would sip coffee and read, or meditate. I've also spent Sunday's hanging out at the bookstore or studying at the local coffee shop.
Church can be wonderful though, and I do enjoy it when I go, especially the singing and thoughtful meditations. But I wonder how many Sundays I attended church and did not remember anything, was uninspired, tired and going through the motions. At some point I decided that I was no longer going to make myself do something just because I thought I had to do it. So I ended the routine by attrition.
Has that made my Sundays different? Yes. I found other inspiring and thought provoking activities to do on Sundays, trying to get one more thing in before having to go back to work. I have to finish this project, I tell myself. Or the lawn needs mowing, the house needs repairs, and oh, I have three chapters left to read in this book. Then 11:00pm rolls around and Sunday is over. It is the end of the week.
Last Sunday I went to the Weisman Art Museum to see the exhibit on 19th Century Korean furniture, met some new friends, and ate an early dinner at Hong Kong Noodles restaurant. This Sunday I will be studying, reading, joining a book discussion group and preparing a presentation for Monday. If I were standing still, I'd say many Sundays go by in a blur, especially when I look back on them. But I think Sunday is standing still and it is me that is moving through it. What was I doing on all of those Sundays? The day is the same, end of the week or beginning of the week. The change that I can only see over time, is in my willingness to commit to any one thing on Sunday. My Sundays are days of motion. Maybe at the end of my life I will rest, but perhaps Sunday I will discover something new to do.