As a Washingtonian who loves football I found myself caught up in Seahawk fever last year. It was a great year culminating in a Super Bowl victory – we (because you know, I helped) were world champions (at a game no one else in the world plays or has an opportunity to enter the contest for)! In the midst of the food, the game, the friends, and the fun, one of my sweet little boys walked up to me and said “Mom, I thought we weren’t supposed to play with friends on Sunday.”
*Insert arrow shot straight to the heart*
I looked around and I couldn’t believe where I found myself. A line that I had so clearly defined for my children, and required adherence to, was not something I had done for myself. (NOTE: I am leaving out the watching football on Sunday debate, that’s not the point of this particular blog post.)
So, it got me thinking – what was it about this situation that I am uncomfortable with, and what do I need to change? Is this situation wrong because the party I’m at is filled with non-mormons? Um, that didn’t settle well at all! So, not playing with friends means that their religion, or lack thereof, shouldn’t make a difference in what is considered “playing with friends” on Sunday.
If their religion doesn’t matter, and I truly believe it shouldn’t, where is the line? I came to realize that the the counsel to not play with friends on Sunday applies to adults just as much as it does to children, but we’ve done a really good job of letting the culture of the church blur the lines of the doctrine involved of keeping the Sabbath day holy. Somewhere between the firesides, the family dinners, the missionary open houses, the dinners with friends, and other events I had justified so many things that were truly “playing with friends” because it was with other Mormons. I am ashamed of how off track and wrong I found myself to be. I was not keeping the Sabbath day holy as I should, there were a lot of times that I was purely “playing with friends.” I’m not saying any of those things are bad, church sponsored firesides are certainly an appropriate activity, but that the pattern of using Sunday evening as a social evening is strong in church culture. Just because I’m doing something with the same people I see at church, or even family, does not make it an appropriate Sunday activity.
Where is that line? Spoiler alert: I’m not going to attempt draw it here in this blog post, I think it’s something each of us needs to act as an agent on to figure out for ourselves. Not playing with friends is a hard line to draw, but I am so glad for my sweet little boy (okay, he’s not actually that little anymore) who showed me that I needed to get back on track.