. Walking towards the malls of several European countries (Italy, Belgium), a common scene occurs on Sundays. All these showed closed shops and supermarkets on that weekend day.
. That simple facet of Western European culture provides a lot of benefits for the people.
. First, regardless of how poor one is, he needs a right to rest. Fastfood crew, department store salesladies, and other low-income people all have Sundays off in Europe. In the Philippines on the other hand, it is common to have a maid/servant in one’s home. These household help are sometimes not given a day off, especially if they live in the house. The employer feels that since the maid is having free lodging and food, the maid should be exploited as much as possible. Having at least a day off in a week, would treat the maid at least as a person.
. Second, a rest day gives people a break from work. Often people, especially workaholics, need to be reminded they are not machines. At least a day a week is sufficient to allow people to have some recreation, take their mind off work for a change. People who work 7 days straight actually develop some sickness such as haemorrhoids, indigestion, stress, fatigue, burnout, and a host of other body abuse conditions.
. Third, if rest days were as enforced like in Europe, tourism would thrive. Since people would have nothing to do, some would opt to take road trips or some sight-seeing on that day. Other parts of the country would be developed as consumers buy fruits and products from provincial areas. Parts of the nation would be on healthy transit that day, vibrant logistics, tourism and some pine-scented countryside air as well.
. Fourth, it is an opportunity to commune with God. Sometimes noise, and work, and troubles do not provide the environment for one to develop his side of spirituality. A time to worship is best to de-stress and renew one’s life as well.
. Fifth, a forced rest day is a sign of efficiency. Knowing out of seven days, you only have 6 days to work, one would maximize those and make them productive. The defined time limitation puts a sense of urgency to do tasks in those allotted times. Discipline is having the right restrictions in place. Since Europeans know beforehand, they discipline themselves to have groceries before Sundays, prepare weekend plans, etc.
. Concluding with an excerpt from a church preaching (via victory.org.ph), it was mentioned how Chick-Fil-A restaurant dominated KFC in earnings. The Sunday lounger Chick-Fil-A has half of the restaurants, but double the profits (USD 5.8B, 2014) against the 7-day fastfood chain. Likened to that, West Europe has always been a dominant economy, partly because of this weekday behavior. An intentional Sabbath can help a nation, a business, anyone – be a little bit better.