No One Ever Just Stops

New Year’s Day I went to the store for some groceries. I first stopped by Aldi’s. I was told about his store, but never shopped there. So on New Year’s Day I gave it a shot.

It was closed.

I headed to my Publix instead, where the parking lot was full and the lines at the registers were long. Then it hit me–no one ever just stops.

Here it was a holiday where many people were off work. Instead of spending time at home relaxing or being with family and friends, we were all scurrying around stores.

I grabbed what I needed then got into my car, but before turning the ignition, I looked around at all the activity and felt sad.

I thought about the streets of Jerusalem on Shabbat. It’s a place of peace. No cars traverse the roads. You hear the sounds of nature, of people walking and talking, of children laughing and singing.

Then I thought about my childhood in Queens on a Sunday morning. Waking to the squeaking floorboards as my aunt walked around her kitchen upstairs, the aroma of her pasta sauce rolling down the stairs into our apartment. People going to church in the streets, eager to gather with family for a Sunday afternoon meal after church. A sense of peace, a sense that all was right with the world.

I don’t recall when things changed, when the stores opened on Sunday, when we all climbed on the hamster’s wheel and never got off, but they did. My children (the youngest in her thirties) never had the opportunity to experience the peace of a Sunday (or Shabbat); the chance to just stop and reconnect with our Maker and our family.

As I pulled away from Publix, I realized how necessary is the message of the Sabbath. We are all spinning on the hamster’s wheel, getting no where fast. It’s time to take stock of what is important–God first, then family, then everything else falls into place as we walk in obedience to His Word.

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