I Should Have Worked on the Sabbath

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Sam here. From 1989-1991, I worked at McDonald's. It was my first real job and the first one that challenged my rules about Sabbath-keeping. Dana and I worked together often enough that she knew I attended youth group, read the Bible, and didn't work on Sundays. I was fine with missing youth group from time to time to fill in a shift, but I never worked on Sundays. Ever. I stated that in my interview, and the managers - including Dana who was not a believer - respected it.

One Sunday after church, Dana called to say that several crew members had called in sick. She asked if I would consider working a four-hour shift. I said no. She knew this was Sunday and apologized for asking me to compromise, but could I? No. She said there would be only one cashier, one grill cook and her to do everything else in the restaurant and she had already called everyone else possible and I was the very last on the list, could I please help her this one and only time? No, I'm sorry, but no.

To this day, I think Jesus wanted me to work on that Sabbath. Dana wasn't exhibiting some kind of power move over her subordinate. Nor was she casually looking for warm bodies to fill spaces so that she could enjoy a relaxing afternoon at work. She was asking me, in so many words, to help pull her ox out of a well (Luke 14:5).

From then on, we didn't connect. We worked together many times afterward, yes, but with a chill. My attempts to reconcile went unheard.

Now almost twenty years later, I wonder how Dana views Christians. Am I that guy who forever negatively represents the Church to her? I don't know. I can't fix that or justify carrying this small burden with me for life. I do think, however, that I should have worked on that Sabbath.