September 4, 2009
Interesting Article & interesting Idea.<br>However, I find the title of the article misleading. The biblical "Sabbath" is by no means our todays Sunday but the Saturday.<br>But even the saturdays would be less close to the work-week and it might indeed take the stress out of the weekend.<br>I can not believe that this would ever become the norm since its seems to much a radical change from a system that has not been changed for a long time.
If I remember correctly, studies in the Netherlands have shown that many females, including single or childless women, prefer not to work full-time but instead to work at most 32 hours a week. For those with a higher education, it is generally economically feasible to work one day less - and it gives one the opportunity to do a lot more volunteering and spend time with family and friends. It also seems to allow for a much more balanced life - and I would hope that this and the joy of having the extra time helps decrease the tendency towards workaholism and a constant striving for more.
I like it. But there is the Blackberry. I have vacation pictures to prove it.
While a four-day work week may be great for practical/environmental reasons, and I'm all for it in that case, the possibilities you mention are precisely what you call them: idealistic. People don't crowd up their Sundays primarily because they don't have enough time; they crowd up their Sundays because they choose not to reserve it. Given another day, people would simply expand their discretionary activities to fill it as well. (Plus, since the work day was longer on the four days, it's a zero-sum game in terms of total available hours.)<br><br>Furthermore, the idea that we live more as God intended by doing less work is not biblical. Stress and sickness does not typically come directly from the activity of work in our culture; they typically come from a wrong ordering of priorities. God ordained work before the fall, so avoiding it does not somehow bring us closer to God's ideal. For the most part, we have already soothed the direct "sweat of the brow" aspect of the Curse within our post-industrial society.
This idea is good for those people actually working a forty-hour week, but in this economy I'm not sure how prevalent that is. I know my own parents work 50-60 hours much of the year because they work with a non-profit they believe in, and because the economy has led to staff cuts. It would be touch to have to come in when everyone else was off.<br><br>On the Sabbath issue, though... what's to stop people from turning the extra day off into another day packed with business? That is my concern. I think we need a lifestyle change, where fun does not mean doing things but can just mean staying home and enjoying something quiet - a DVD, a book, a talk with friends, whatever.
I've worked a 72 hour fortnight before - that means 9-6 every day and one day off a fortnight.<br><br>Absolutely great - most of us work that long anyway, so an extra day off to acknowledge this was lovely. The chance to do haircuts etc on a week day was brilliant, and meant people usually put their doctor's appointments etc in that time, so there was less work time anyway.<br><br>The people outside the company we worked with got used to 'so-and so is on their flexi-day' and happily worked around it.<br><br>It made other part-time work (e.g. for childcare) easier to arrange.
I would say if we have set things and priorities properly in line of the value of Bible, we all would have a better and higher life. But to achieve this is not easy. Surely, we still have to work for making a living, and at the same time, we have to gain knowldege and wisdom from the Bible in order to know the God's planning for each of us. This, I think, will help us to work more effectively and efficiently.
For the past four years, I have worked at a job where the demands of full time were leavened with the opportunity to work four ten-hour days and have three days off. There is a net gain for other activities. By the time I've worked eight hours, most of the day is shot anyway. An extra two isn't such a big deal. Piling up those eight hours into a whole other day off counts for much more. Anything which diminishes the notion that "your job" is the number one priority in a human's life, more important than family, church, neighbors, or any other activity, is a good thing. Opening up time doesn't guarantee what any given individual will do with those hours -- some will no doubt spend the whole day playing on-line games -- but it leaves us free to make better choices, if we choose to do so.
I love this idea. In my ideal world, we would have one day as a family to play, one day to do projects/housework/yard maintenance, and one day to be with our church family and rest. Wow-that sounds so fabulous.
I think the institution of a Sabbath day of rest should be a priority for Christians. This day is a blessing, as we rest from the toils of work and spend a day with God and family. We have gotten caught up in the culture of "working" or "playing" too much and have let the Sabbath escape. <br><br>My own path to having a Sabbath started with the Lord prompting me to trust him with my finances (I was working 2 jobs), my time (all those to-do lists) and prioritizing my life. Two years later, I do not work on Sunday (still have many jobs), no housework, no shopping, and am seeking God with what do I do now?!<br><br>I would encourage others to start small and begin devoting time for God. The blessing is that now I am more efficient and organized to get stuff done on Saturday, so I can rest on Sunday!
It is absolutely an energy saver, people become more productive with the time off, and I agree that it may encourage family time which is sorely needed to maintain healthy people/healthy families. Many people work 8+ hours a day anyways so why not make it official and create a healthy boundary for off work hours?! We Americans work more hours as a nation with far less vacation and far less pay on the average than Europeans AND are not any more productive. That's a thought!
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