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Playing Hookey
Photo: Marcelo Mokrejs
As a child, did you ever play hookey? For a number of years in elementary school I employed a method of dodging class with the unknowing cooperation of my mother. The morning of a particular day I wanted to stay home, I would hang by my feet from the top mattress of my bunk bed for about 5 minutes allowing all the blood to rush to my head. Then, hopping back under the covers, I would call for my mom and feign sickness. Observing and feeling my flushed face, she would agree, and to my delight pronounce a day home from school!

According to a recent internet article, kids aren’t the only ones playing hookey. CarreerBuilder.com conducted a survey in 2005 which revealed that 43% of workers called in sick at least one day when they were perfectly well. In 2006, 32% admitted to the practice.

Bogus Excuses

Over 40% of hiring managers admitted they have received unusual and suspicious “sick-day” alibis. The following is a sample of bogus excuses they recalled:
  • Dog swallowed employee’s bus pass
  • Horses belonging to employee escaped and were running down the highway
  • Employee’s back went out because they blew their nose too hard
  • A severe case of hiccups prevented employee from working
  • Had no uniform to wear because a skunk got into the house and sprayed their clothes
  • Employee’s mother in law poisoned him
  • Employee got locked inside a public restroom stall and could not get out
  • Employee got drunk, snowboarded off the roof of his house and broke his leg
When workers were questioned as to the reasons for their truancy, some admitted to doctor’s appointments, personal errands, housework and family plans. But by far, the strongest motivators for calling in sick were rest and relaxation. 24% admitted they wanted to catch up on sleep, while almost 50% claimed they just needed to relax. In other words, workers were just plain tired and overworked; they needed a mental health day!

For many of us life is a continual round of commuting, work, housework, homework, yard work, laundry, shopping and bill paying, with a few hours of TV thrown in for good measure. The pace is exhausting!

But thank God, there is a way off the merry-go-round. The Almighty gave us an example of what to do about our frenzied life styles. After creating the heavens and earth, plants and trees, fish, birds, animals and human beings in six days, God declared a day for R&R!

God rested on the 7th day from all the work accomplished. God blessed the 7th day and made it holy. God gave it to us for a gift—permission to play hookey every 7th day—in order to rest, relax and recharge our batteries. Try it this week and experience the awesome blessing of the 7th day, the Sabbath.

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done" (Genesis 2:2,3).

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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