A Week Without Sundays
January 22, 2007 • By Randy Kilgore
Confidence oozed through me as I lined up at the starting gate of the 10k race. While no threat to win it, I knew my numbers would be good because I'd been running well for most of the past two years. There was just one problem. Four months earlier I'd had knee surgery, and I'd done very little formal rehab and absolutely no running since the operation. Still, my body always rebounded, and I hadn't noticed any problems playing fast-pitch, so how hard could this be? This hard: My first two miles were in the seven-minute range. I was skipping water stops hoping to make up time on the one person I absolutely didn't want to finish behind.
I shouldn't have worried. I could have skipped every water stop along the way and still not finished ahead of my nemesis. In fact, in a field of several hundred, I finished last. Dead last. As in "six-year-old-running-with-Grampa-passes-me" last.
I finished the race to wild cheers from kind people who stayed around specifically to cheer for the people who finish dead last, but those were cheers I didn't really deserve. My finish was less about noble effort and more about foolish preparation.
Every day my path crosses with workers running the same kind of race I ran that day. They work what I call "the week without Sunday."
In the life of a Christian worker, Sunday represents three things we desperately need:
- Information. While training and education are vital to workplace success, knowing the Book of Romans or the Book of James or the Book of Genesis is more important than knowing the wisdom in the latest business bestseller on the shelf. Christians who rely solely on their own wisdom or the wisdom of other humans are doomed to disappoint God, themselves and the part of Creation they're supposed to tend. Sundays represent our most important link to knowing Scripture, and knowing Scripture is essential to working effectively in the economy God intends.
- Rest. Today's culture honors extreme busyness, complex multi-tasking, and frenzied paces. God rarely does. A week without Sunday is a week without the rest God ordered, and it's a week of disobedience. God rested to model this for us, and then Jesus built it into His earthly ministry to cement the lesson. If ever the hare and the tortoise tale belonged on business shelves, it is our present driven culture where we've suddenly determined we're useless unless we're talking on our cell phones while driving down the highway listening to self-help motivational CD's. God said rest, and He considered it so vital He made it one of the Big Ten, and set aside a day of each work week for us to understand how serious He is about it. Work weeks without Sundays are races run without water stops.
- Mission focus. What consumes our minds rules our hearts, and what rules our hearts governs our actions. Sundays set aside for rest and worship offer us time to remember why we do what we're doing, and Who we're doing it for.
Purists will want to make it clear there's more to Sundays than just these three things, and that "Sunday" can occur on Saturday or Tuesday or any other days for those who can't do Sabbath on Sunday. All that is true.
But workers on the front lines of culture must surely be reminded that Sabbath was never intended as catch-up day for chores or work, and the gathering of believers was never intended as optional.
In our quest to remind ourselves that God loves Mondays, let us never forget that He also ordered up Sundays.