Originally posted October 19, 2009
I am really proud of my husband.
He spent all of last semester working on a design competition with several other students at his University. The project wasn't for any of his classes, it was something he took on in addition to his regular school work and his graduate research. He and his teammates worked really hard on their project and as a result they won the State design competition and got to go to Florida to compete in the National competition--- all expenses paid. He was thrilled.
A few months later I checked "Chariots of Fire" out from the library and Jon and I watched it one Friday evening. The movie is about Eric Liddell, the "Flying Scotsman", who refused to run the 100 meter dash (the one everyone thought he would win) in the 1924 Paris Olympics because it was scheduled on Sunday. Liddell was a committed Christian and refused to run on the Sabbath despite the pressure he got to do so. Instead he ran the 400 meter, one of his worst events. Right before he ran it one of his American competitors came up and put a paper in his hand with 1 Samuel 2:30 on it which said, "Those who honor me, I will honor". He ran with that paper in his hand and... well... I won't ruin the ending for you.
This story really impressed Jon and I and made us re-evaluate our dedication to our own beliefs and faith. Would we have been able to do what Liddell did?
Then just a few days after we watched the movie, Jon was looking up the schedule for the conference he was going to attend to find out when he would be presenting his design... it was scheduled for Sunday.
He turned to me and said, "Heather, I can't do it. I really can't present on Sunday."
Me, being the supportive and righteous wife that I am, said, "Well, why not! God won't mind this one time. You've worked so hard and you deserve to do this."
But he stuck to what he felt was right. He told his teammates (all of them are also Mormons) that he couldn't present on Sunday. They were understanding and said that they would present for him. But they felt that since he had put so much work in to it that he still deserved to attend the conference. So we went to Florida and he didn't present on Sunday, instead we went to visit his aunt and uncle. I kept hoping that maybe because he had made such a big sacrifice that God would bless his team and they would win.... didn't happen... but they still did a really good job. Later Jon had the opportunity to meet the president of the organization and told her that next year they shouldn't have the student competitions on Sunday. She said she'd think about it.
I really admire my husband's decision to keep the Sabbath day holy because, if the truth be known, if I had been in his position... I would have presented on Sunday.
It makes me feel sort of bad to admit this, but I probably would not have given the fact that the presentation was on Sunday a second thought. I would have easily justified it... I'm on vacation... I've worked so hard... It isn't that big of a deal... God won't mind this one time... Everyone else is going to do it and they are Mormons too.
But watching my husband stand his ground, especially when all the others on his team were of the same faith, really made me re-evaluate my feeling about the Sabbath day.
Do I really understand why God ask us to keep the Sabbath day holy?
How "holy" does he expect us to keep it? Is it up for personal interpretation?
How do you stand up for what is right, when everyone else is of the same faith as you, without sounding "self righteous"?
These are the questions that have been floating around in my mind, and I am still searching for answers.
What do you think? Would you have presented?