As I prepare for another week of work on my thesis, I have been thinking about rest, work and spirituality. One of my core values is work. This is due in part to my family – those of you familiar with my parents will not find this at all surprising. The other part might be due to being Mennonite – I did not grow up in an area with many Mennonites – so based on a small sample size – where I was sheltered from lazy people – I have come up with an alternate slogan for the sometimes religious and sometimes ethnic group. This could unite Mennonites and Menno-nots. Mennonites: anachronistically taking the Protestant Work Ethic to the next level since 1525. Indeed, hard work unites unites Mennonites who believe in hard work and capitalism, and Mennonites who believe in changing the system. Hard work is much easier, after all, than figuring out God, following God and how to live that out in relationships with others. Indeed, not all people care about these things. They just want to get on with their lives.
This background has shaped my feelings on work and rest. Read the ten commandments, we see that rest is good. Now, implementing this rest in a way that is less extreme than the most observant Jews is a challenge for anyone. We talk about this often at GCF. Given these conversations, and in the absence of dedicated church attendance, I have decided not to work on Sundays, and only do things I want to do. I also try and make these things helpful to myself. For example, less tv, and more (fun) reading. Today, I did podcasts – NPR and CBC. Now, I will organize my week.