How a Dining Reservation Sparked a Reminder to Take a Sabbath Day

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I miss the days of decreed Sunday closures

We traveled six hours north to arrive in Quebec for a four-night snowmobile vacation. Our friends followed close behind and booked the same hotel with a room adjacent to ours.

The hotel offered a complimentary breakfast with a full menu including crepes — French pancakes. Each morning we feasted on the delicious foods and filled ourselves so that we wouldn’t need to eat again until we arrived back from our daily snowmobile trip in the early evening.

As the small town had a limited number of restaurants, we called ahead to make reservations to ensure we could get seats.

However, on the last night of our stay, we could not book a reservation to dine at any restaurants. To our surprise, they were not open on Sundays.

I remember as a child the stores in Ontario were closed on Sundays. This was due to the Lord’s Day Act, the federal law that decreed Sunday to be a day of rest.

However, in 1985 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the Act and Ontario allowed Sunday shopping.

As a 17-year-old, I applauded the Supreme Court’s decision. I not only wanted to be able to shop on Sundays but also, as a part-time retail employee, I wanted to work more hours.

But my dad did not like the decision. He agreed with the Lord’s Day Act. This law — originally passed in 1906 — made it an offense to transact business on a Sunday. He believed that people should honor the day of the Lord and take one day out of the seven to rest. He reasoned that people could get their shopping done on any of the other six days.

At the time I vehemently disagreed with him. But over 35 years later, my opinion has drastically changed.

I am now in the same camp as he was. I believe that this 24/7 world we live in is not only not good for us but it’s actually bad for us.

As a former personal trainer, I recognize the importance of taking a day off from strength training to allow our muscles to repair. The same principle applies to our emotional and spiritual health. We need downtime to rejuvenate. Our go-go-go culture feeds burnout, stress, and exhaustion.

That trip to Quebec served as a great reminder for me to slow down and take one day of rest every week.

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