This Friday night we have some newer friends that we first met on New Years Eve. They came to our home as friends of friends. We also had a couple of old friends as well as half of a new family from around the corner. While they grew up in New Brunswick, they only recently moved here from Drumheller, Alberta – where’d they’d lived for about a decade. Only half the family came because the husband stayed home with the two year old. That way his wife could come over with the six year old and enjoy dinner with us. Just as important to us, this arrangement allowed for some company for our six year old. You see he’s been complaining — and rightly so — that there have been few kids coming to our Sabbath dinners lately. While we enjoy bringing adults in to our home — as much as some of them enjoy a night out without having to tend to their young children, well this time it just didn’t seem right. Sometimes in the effort to bring people together and create community we can forget to engage and enrich the lives of our children.
So much in our culture encourages us to leave our children behind. We claim that they are of the utmost important but read through any job description these days. The vast majority include code words that are really saying: Please choose between your family and this job. Consider: “Must be willing to work some evenings and weekends.” or “ you are passionate , committed and willing to give 150% to making a real difference”.
Well I’m not very good at math but if I give 150% to my employer then I must be running a deficit in the rest of my life, be it family , friends or community.
By the way, the punchline to most of those job postings is, “salary commensurate with experience”. Which is code for, “We plan to pay you as little as we can.”
So, when my six year old complained that another Sabbath was passing without us inviting any children we agreed and reached out to these folks who’d recently moved here and who live just around the corner — people who by the way have felt something missing and disconnected so far from their experience in our otherwise family-filled neighbourhood. So again, the Sabbath Project has helped us remember what is important and nudged us toward engaging with friends new and old. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a resume that reads “Reward commensurate with the sacredness of your experience.”