Thursday, March 01, 2007

Denying yourself for a whole year!

So the Lord told the Israelites to take a sabbatical year:
For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.
Leviticus 25.3-5
I seem to remember hearing that the Israelites never ever obeyed this.

But the thing that occurred to me this time around was: what would it have been like to the average Israelite? I mean, all the time they normally would have spent pruning, sowing, weeding, harvesting, and all that other stuff -- what were they going to do instead?

"I'm off to the fields, then... Ah, no-I'm-not."

Maybe they'd head down to the Side Track Tap. If they were in Minnesota in the winter they might go ice fishing. But good grief, for agricultural people to not spend time sowing, pruning, or harvesting...

And how would it be for all these guys in Software Valley, the ones who feel they were Born To Code? Or those guys in Minnesota in a snowless winter, shoveling snow in their sleep.

And if that weren't bad enough, after 49 years, they were supposed to take two years off. Well, from my understanding they never did that, either.

But what would that be like? I think taking a whole year off with none of the usual work would be, well, a life-changing experience. What would that be like? Well, I don't know, but if a lot of us did it, I'm going to say that retirement wouldn't be as traumatic as it is for many.

And I don't know what it will be like for me, assuming that I make it that far. Maybe if I took a year off first, retirement would be less traumatic for me too. But will I do it? I sure don't know. And if I did it, what would I do in it? Don't know that either.

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