Though this story began seven years ago, the first week of May, I remember it so clearly. I remember riding in the passenger seat of our car while my husband drove us to work.
I remember holding my arm out the window and waving my hand up and down in the cool breeze.
I remember arriving at work, adjusting my apron over my black khakis and tucking my serving towels into my back pockets as we walked into the building.
Upon arrival, we, as usual, went to the server station to write down the following weeks shift schedule and clock in for the night.
The first thing we noticed was an error with the schedule. We had been scheduled to work on a Sunday— a day neither of us were available to work — a day neither of us had worked in over a year — a day we observed as the Sabbath.
We quickly rushed to the manager on duty and notified him.
We were told that the new proprietor scheduled and needed every server to work, especially my husband and I.
We reminded him that we weren’t available to work.
He told us that the new proprietor scheduled every server, even those whom did not typically work; because, he needed everyone to work on Mother’s day— the busiest day of the year for restaurants.
We reminded him that we hadn’t worked a Sunday since deciding to hold the Sabbath last year and that upon making this decision, we had discussed and agreed upon our having this day off with the previous proprietor.
We also questioned why they would schedule people that simply weren’t available; why would a company inconvenience it’s employees and make them skip classes, get baby sitters, cover other jobs, skip church, and in our case, skip the Sabbath.
He directed us to speak with the proprietor.
Knowing the proprietor was off for the night and he wouldn’t be in the building until tomorrow, I anxiously anticipated possible arguments.
Surprisingly, the conversation with him the next day was… well… brief.
He replied so simply:
“You can either have your job or you can have your God.”
We stood there dumb founded. I don’t think either of us knew what to say.
I don’t think either of us could believe that someone had the audacity to say those words.
Those words rung in my ear:
“You can either have your job or you can have your God.” “You can either have your job or you can have your God.” “You can either have your job or you can have your God.”