Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Sabbath Day

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exodus 20:8-10

I love the Sabbath. I love having a day set aside for spiritual pursuits, a day where I can say no to worldly cares. Some of the best Sabbaths I've had have been when I've been visiting my extended family. We sit and talk and get caught up with one another. The conversations range from current events to what's going on in our lives, to spiritual topics. It feels refreshing.

I live in an apartment right now with four other women. I'm the only Sabbath observer in the apartment. We're in pretty close quarters, so it's hard to find a quiet space sometimes. I've come to realize that in many ways, the Sabbath is a feeling I can carry with me, regardless of what is going on around me.

When the Ten Commandments were given, two reasons were listed for the commandment to observe the Sabbath:
In Exodus 20:11, we are reminded of the story of the creation. "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
In Deuteronomy 5:15, we are reminded of the miracle of the children of Israel being led out of Egypt. "And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day."

We live in an increasingly 24/7 world. Obviously, there is some work that must be done, even on the Sabbath. Police officers, fire fighters, and emergency room personnel must be available at all times. When my car broke down on the way home from church, I was grateful that a tow truck driver was working and was able to help me pull my modern-day ox out of the mire.

However, I worry about what is going to happen to my Sabbath observance when I get out into the legal field. I already feel at a bit of a disadvantage even in law school, since I don't study or do homework on Sunday. I have six days to do what everyone else has seven days to do, and with how competitive law school is, it's a sacrifice. (I've been blessed for making that sacrifice, so I'm not complaining.)

I know I have several lawyers who read my blog. How do you manage observing the Sabbath while working as a lawyer? For you non-lawyers out there, how do you manage Sabbath observance with your job?