Day of Rest

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Seven months after I was laid off as a nine-year employee of the University of Lethbridge, I finally found a job.

It was a relief.

I had sent out dozens of resumes and had several interviews, but nothing seemed to come to fruition. Finally, after nearly running out of severance pay, I found a job with a solid, growing company. That’s an entirely different post.

Having been there for three weeks now, I’ve noticed a few things. It’s a stressful, hectic work environment seasoned well with colourful language. It’s much different compared to my last work environment.

The downside to this job is my shift runs Wednesday to Sunday. It’s the first time in my adult life I have had to work Sundays. The last time I was job hunting, I had three job offers, and ignoring a job that required me to work Sundays was an option. This time, I had no choices; this was my only job offer.

I was heartbroken when I found out I had to work Sundays.

Sundays have for many years been a special day for me. It has been a day unlike others: the only work I do is church related; I don’t participate in general entertainments; and I try to do gospel-related, enriching activities.

Having to work on Sundays is going to make this very difficult to maintain.

After I accepted the job (partly because I needed money to support my family and partly because of opportunities promised in the future), I thought about this some more and realized there were some things I could do to keep some semblance of spirituality in my life.

Luckily, my calling as ward executive secretary doesn’t require much my being at church on Sunday. A lot of what I have to do on Sundays can be done electronically or dropped off at the church before church starts.

I was able to arrange my dinner break to coincide with one of the wards in our building. At least, I can sing two of the hymns and partake in the sacrament.

We are going to continue being faithful in participating in our monthly ward temple night.

I am singing in the stake Christmas cantata.

I dress in my Sunday best even though everyone else is dressed in jeans and t-shirts.

Today was my first Sunday shift (the last two weeks were training Monday to Friday), and I have to say that I have never appreciated a Sacrament Meeting as much as I did today. As I mentioned above, my stressful, hectic, colourful work environment makes it difficult to feel the Spirit.

Going to church and being among my fellow saints today was a real blessing. For 40 minutes, all the swearing was gone. All the phone ringing was gone. All the worrying and stress was gone. For 40 minutes, I could relax, pray, and meditate. Even with screaming babies, today’s Sacrament Meeting was a harbour of strength during a spiritually turbulent day.

Today’s experience gave me an entirely different perspective on what it means when we refer to Sunday as a day of rest. Rest indeed.

10 thoughts on “Day of Rest

  1. Touching post. Thank you for the reminder that we should appreciate our opportunities to worship on Sundays.
    I love that you have found some ways to mitigate the loss. And congratulations on finding a job. I am so happy for you and your family. We went through that in 2008 and worry that it might happen again in a few months.

    1. Thanks.

      I certainly took Sunday worship for granted previously. Attending church now is like having the coast guard pull up after treading water alone in the ocean for hours.

  2. Congratulations on your new job. You make an excellent point about things you can do to take the Sabbath with you even when traditional observance is temporarily impossible.

  3. Kim, I’ve been meaning to come over and comment on your post. Family, work, school, and life just keep getting in the way of important things like blogging! ;-)

    First of all, congratulations on the new job. I am excited that you are able to get back into the workforce.

    Many years ago, I worked a weekend shift that meant I worked on Sunday. Fortunately for me, I was able to get off work just in time to attend Sacrament meeting. After working a 12-hour graveyard shift, I was extremely tired, but always enjoyed attending Sacrament meeting and taking the Sacrament. The schedule was not ideal, but it allowed me to attend school and church without major disruption.

    Best wishes in your new job and working your way to having weekends off with your family!

  4. Kim it will give you incentive to work as hard as you can to train in the areas that you need to so that you can get off weekends. I know that your example that you set will be an asset to your peers as they will soon realize that you are different. Let your peers change to meet your standards, don’t change yours to meet theirs. Mary will be strengthened during this time as she too lengthens her stride. Hugs

  5. I was very impressed by this post. I lost my job as executive director of a non profit in July 2009. With a master’s degree and a dozen years of professional experience I thought I’d be able to find something new within a few months. Not so. It took me 10 long months of nearly full time looking, applying for 130 positions across six states and 24 interviews before I finally landed a new position. I came in second so many times I could scream. Or I got chosen for jobs that were subsequently put on hiring freeze and not filled at all. It was a really agonizing time for me. Fortunately, since I now work in a university setting I am NOT required to work on Sundays. However, I know keeping the Sabbath holy is an area where I have much improving to do. Your post has given me much to think about.

  6. I’m awfully glad you’ve found a job. I hope the environment will improve for you and that you’ll eventually be able to find an arrangement that allows you to not to work on Sundays.

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