Sunday, December 11, 2011

Idea #12: Create a Sabbath Day

Okay, I know I said I was done with ideas, but then today I tripped across this one in my day and ended up obsessing over it dwelling on it for a while and decided I ought to add it to the list.  And as an aside, I've found someone who is willing to guest-write the post about Occupied Investing, so watch for that soon!

Right, but back to me. Or at least me's new idea.

Create a Sabbath. 

So this morning, on my way to church (alone - the kids are both sick but I was this week's Sunday School "teacher" so off I went) I realized I needed gas in the car. And I rolled my eyes to myself and said, probably outloud, but I don't really listen to me so I can't say for sure, "Lord, can't there be just one day when I don't spend any f'ing money??!" (The Lord likes it when I abbreviate the swear words I think. Baby steps.)

And shazzam! the answer came: Yep.

There could be a day when I don't spend any money.  It could be Tuesdays. Or SJ's first day off. Or the 21st of every month. The quarter moons.... whatever.  We could decide that there are days when we don't spend money. At all.  A money sabbath.

Now I have actually looked up the word "sabbath" to make sure that I'm not getting this altogether wrong, and I think I'm right enough that it will do.  In my mind, sabbath means "a rest".  The Jewish people were instructed in the Ten Commandments to "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy".  I think this meant that there was one day a week where all work was to cease, and instead the community would set it aside to pay extra attention to the things and person of God.

For those of us with faith, in creating a Sabbath where we remember not to spend, we would probably find ourselves able to think a bit more on The Provider and Creator of All Things.  We might trip across some fairly wonderful Trues about where our help comes from, and where our hope lies.  We might find ourselves, in the decision to not provide our own needs for twenty-four hours, better able to meet the Giver of Life. I'd be into that.

For those of us low on faith, or maybe straight up distrustful of all things faithy, the principle remains (and of course for the faith-y people too): going a day without whatever it is we might find ourselves needing gives us an opportunity to feel need in a way we rarely do, but that so much of the world does. It would create a moment of solidarity with the many on this planet who don't spend money that day, not out of choice or conviction or lack of want, but out of necessity and in despair.

And so, this week, SJ and I are going to figure out a schedule of days on which we will take a Sabbath from spending. We'll have to check the gas tank the day before, and make sure there is wine in the cupboard (the last is optional, but you know, pleasant) and then we'll try being on purpose in the non-spending of money and see where we end up.  Could be good.

Occupy Me.

IDEA #12 Response:
What do you think would happen if you didn't spend money one day a week?  Do you ever have days when you really, truly can't spend money? Do you know someone who does? I don't know if I do...

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