Remember the Sabbath

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

The Sabbath has been called a day of rest for many reasons besides the obvious reason; that time to worship God.

There was a time when no business was conducted on Sunday, except for the almost mandatory occupations to keep the world moving and to protect us from harm and provide a service if harm did come to us.  Even most restaurants , what few there were, were closed on Sunday.  Sunday dinner was around the family table, with as many relatives  as possible. 

In most families, going to church was mandatory, and was only missed if weather or other circumstances mandated.  

I grew up in Indiana, basketball country. Hardly a day went by where I wasn’t shooting hoops dodging cow pies in the ban yard. 

Neither snow, nor rain or dark of night kept me from my daily routine. In the winter, Friday nights were spent at the local high school gym rooting on our favorite team.  It was unpatriotic to miss the weekly highlight. 

The only thing that put a stop to shooting hoops, was church on Sunday, or some other event at the local church. That took priority over everything else. 

A few years ago, I took some friends to Fort Lauderdale to sail away on a seven day cruise. Normally, people need to be at the cruise port around noon or earlier, this was no exception. As a result I was driving I-75 on my way home through Fort Myers about twelve-thirty, (noon). I noticed a large soccer field near the freeway and probably about a hundred kids playing soccer. 

Because of my upbringing, I was surprised, and thought,” why aren’t these kids in church?”

Thinking back, I remembered, my mom would have strangled me if I even thought of picking u a basketball on a Sunday morning. I never even considered it. 

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

Growing up on a dairy farm, the weather always played a factor in our daily lives, everything evolved around the weather, even with that, very little work was done on Sunday, except necessary chores , like milking and tending to the cattle.

The most critical and frustrating times were during the hay harvest. The hay(cow feed) had to be cut down and left to cure in the field for three days before it could be baled and put in the hay mow for the winter feeding of the cattle.

The hay consisted of clover, alfalfa, and timothy, if it was baled too soon, it would still have too much moisture content and would soon mold and rot, rendering it useless, in that condition, it could catch on fire and burn the barn down, and kill any animals in the barn. 

Dodging the weather, it seems it never rains when you need it, and always rains when you don’t need it,  we always timed the cuttings so as to not have to bale hay on a Sunday. 

It is one of the hardest and dirtiest duties on a farm. Despite all of our planning, the rains would come and delay our work, making the first day available Sunday. Even though it is eminent to process the hay as soon as possible, the longer it lays in the field and is exposed to the elements, the condition of the hay deteriorates and can become practically useless. 

Even under those circumstances, I don’t remember ever baling hay on a Sunday. We took the chance, and normally the next day the weather would break and the hay was harvested. 

Even today, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday due to religious considerations, and it is the most successful fast food franchises in the United States.

You gotta wonder.

We are told time and time again to keep the day holy, besides the obvious spiritual connotations, there are other factors to consider. 

Regardless of our vocation in life, we all need a break and time for rest and refreshment. We do need time to reflect on our relationship to a supreme being, and we need time to pursue other more enjoyable and relaxing interests than our job can provide, we need time to connect with friends and family, and a Sunday afternoon nap while we pretend to watch football.

Many work on Sunday and take another day off to have that time, it may be a good option but I have done that. It isn’t the same. When you work on Sunday, you miss a very important part of your life. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,






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