When I lived in the Northeast, I used to love snow days. Everyone did, of course. I took a kind of cosmic pleasure in seeing my world come to a halt. At last God had gotten the better of our busy selves. Though proclaimed by the schools, the snow day seemed in fact a divinely imposed sabbath–a white sabbath, come in its own soft fluffy way to stop us in our tracks and force us to do nothing, or at least much less than we expected to do. It was an invitation to rest that we could not easily refuse.
We already have sabbath days, of course–days to be devoted to rest and worship. In Judaism, the sabbath is Saturday; in Christianity, it is the Lord’s Day, or Sunday. One day in seven, our civilization, according to these faiths, should come to a massive halt. Men and women of action should become men and women of contemplation. Men and women concerned about this life should direct their attention to the next. The lovers of time should consider what eternity has to offer. We should not go to school, not go to work; not shop or buy or sell in the usual way we do. The busy wheel of a community’s daily life should stop its turning. Like God when He finished creation, we should look upon what we have done during the week, and, where applicable, pronounce it good, indeed, very good (Genesis 1:31).
I suppose it goes without saying that Sunday, in this historically Christian country, is no longer observed as a sabbath. I am afraid we now need snow days to teach us, through that delicious sense of sudden incapacitation for our usual business, how we should approach our real sabbath, which comes to us weekly, whether it snows or not.
One response to “Snowdays and Sundays”
Yes, and up north the two feet or so of snow that it took to make a snow day also acted as a kind of hush blanket. Of course, I semi-sabotaged my own two snow Sabbaths in Houston by recording my scheduled lectures anyway, creating my own YouTube station, and learning how to post them. But I still fit in some extra zzzs and a mug of hot cocoa.