On Fridays I take the day off from my job at nativity. It is difficult for me to fully understand what a "day off" should look like- not because I have this urge to "work" or "go into the office," but because a lot of my job has overlap with how I value living my life. For example- I value living out the change I wish to see in the world, I value activism, relationships, and constant conversation with the purpose of figuring out life's questions. These values are also values shared with my occupation, my vocation as a youth minister- to be an example for the youth I work with and live out these values alongside others from my community (including my church community).
Many times I feel that when I take my day off- I subconsciously take the day off from some of those values as well...
For example, today I opted to sleep to 11:30am instead of joining my wife Erin at a protest for the war in Iraq. Erin joined me for lunch and the conclusion of Malcom X (which we started late last night), and we discussed her experience at the protest- she said that it was a really awesome time (which isn't always the case for "protests." This one was organized by the Central Oregon peace Network and Code Pink- two legit organizations more concerned with active peacemaking than anti-war/gov't/bush rhetoric. As part of the protest, 40 people form the community gathered to read a nine point plan over a podium/mic for peace in the Middle east/troop reduction/statistics from the war. Erin was asked to read one of the nine points aloud while four people took the document to our representative in congress. The protest concluded with an arrest after a "street theater" piece that shut down traffic near downtown outside of the congressional building- the piece had protesters laying down in the street to symbolize the cost of war.
It was really well organized and I really enjoyed the event- oh wait, I wasn't actually there...I chose to suspend my voice on the way in Iraq and sleep in. Rather than support my fellow peace activists, I opted for pillow...
Now I understand some of you maybe thinking, I am being too hard on myself- after all I may have "needed the sleep." To answer you bluntly- no, I didn't "need" it. I feel like this kind of thing happens to me all of the time- whether on vacation or on my day off. Somehow, over and over again I subconsiously or consciously choose to take the day off from my values as a Christ follower, peace maker, and American citizen. Ugggh..it is frustrating.
It is becoming more and more clear to me that vacation/day off- is not an excuse to suspend the values we hold. I hope that this public statement to you my friends in digital blogmmunity land- will help me to remember this day and thrust me forward to full time action (a representation of the values I hold).
Thanks for listening...tomorrow I will be posting on a similar topic- vacation..particularly my experience with the world of all-inclusive resorts and the American bubble of Cancun.