"What do you mean you don't paint on Sunday" by Gary Cole


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On the discussion list for face painters it comes up the fact that I run a successful family entertainment business and I turn away Sunday work. No doubt Sunday is the second most popular day for face painting so professional face painters are always a bit puzzled when they hear I turn away Sunday work. Since I am asked "why? are you crazy?" so often, I thought I would address this in a FAQ (frequently asked question) so I could once and for all give it a bit more thorough discussion.

One of the major reasons I do not paint on Sunday is for religious reasons so if you are put off by any religious discussion now is the time to stop reading. Hit the delete key, switch to another page or simply tune out. No doubt politics and religion are often the issue of stress and division among many. I'm not trying to preach to anyone or push my religious beliefs on anyone. I just want to tell you my personal logic and how I address this issue of Sunday face painting.

In the beginning, I admit I was a bit flakey on this issue of working on Sunday. We were trying to build the business and even Sunday work I felt was needed to get the needed exposure. I happen to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (some call us Mormon). To us, Sunday is the Sabbath and it is a day to turn away from the world and focus on Christ. Part of the precepts is to avoid work or other activities that draw you away from this. A true follower of the faith, will not do activities like go to the movie, go shopping, participate in sporting activities on Sunday and the like. It is a time for Sunday worship and spending time with our families. We Mormons, generally participate in three hours each Sunday in worship or religious study. The rest of the day we rest from the world and do wholesome family activities. In the Cole home we read, write letters to family, play board games as a family (I'm awesome at Risk, chess and Monopoly), do art projects and visit with friends and family. It might sound strange but in our home there are no TV or electronic games for the kids (or adults) on Sunday. No doubt some people have to work on Sunday. Perfect examples are medical personnel, those that are police, firemen or the like. Some, no doubt have to work on Sunday simply because their boss require it or if they did not work on Sunday their children might not eat. They get the proverbial "pass". 

These beliefs are Biblical. The scripture in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 5:14 states "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of the cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou." So therefore no work, no face painting, no going to the movies because if you go, in essence you are making others work on the Sabbath. Well this is where it gets sticky. There is that old biblical issue that it is okay to work if your ox is caught in the mire. In Jewish law, orthodox Jews are only allowed to walk so far in order to go to the synagogue. So the festival pouring over to Sunday is that the old ox?? Where one draws the line of strict obedience is up to private interpretation. For example, I mentioned in our home we do not watch any television. To another Mormon family they might watch football as they see it as a wholesome family activity. To one they would never buy anything on Sunday, to another if they had an "oops" and saw that the gas tank was empty they would buy some gas to get the family to church. The bottom line is we as members of the church should personally look to see where the line is in the sand on faithful Sunday worship. Some do a better job than I do and I on the other hand do better than some. In many ways it is a personal thing between them and God. I'm not the judge so you do what works for you.

So here I am back to face painting..... At first we did accept some Sunday jobs and I rationalized it by thinking my Christian workers could all refrain from working or accepting jobs. I did have a number of workers that were more than happy to take on the Sunday work. They were not "church goers." As life has it, we would assign Sunday work out and then a car wouldn't start or someone would catch the flu and I would get stuck taking on that job and missing my Sunday at church or with my family. It was very irritating for me. Most of you know I travel A LOT and my Sunday at home or at church is very important. I was reading my scriptures one day and this topic came up. I opted to change my personal and business habits and try to avoid Sunday work even more. I'll be the first to state that I am far from perfect on this issue. Even now, I would like to do better. We started to systematically turn away Sunday work with the thought, we might loose some income, but we would be blessed elsewhere by being more obedient to this religious principal. No doubt there was the fear of losing these larger customers. If we had a large customer and they needed a Sunday worker I would risk losing that big customer by them seeking another painter. Maybe that other worker was cheaper, more flexible or even better and I lose the customer. So at first when we refused the work they would then ask for a possible referral. So we did that for a while. That ended abruptly after getting cussed out by a very angry mom with her crying birthday child crying in the background because my referral did not show up.

I know this faq dragging on but it has been an issue of evolution. Now I see my adherence to my Sunday face painting to systematically turning away Sunday work. We do a number of festivals and trade shows (with SNAZAROO) that roll over the full weekend. If the festival requires the Sunday to be manned (as they often do), then we do it with a smaller staff. The same with tradeshows. I try to avoid working on Sunday but if required by a particular event beyond my control, I still work. I think (you might call it rationalization) of it kind of like the police or fireman that has to work on Sunday or that old ox in the mire thing.

We have run Party Paces Inc. ( www.partyfaces.us  ) since 1994. My wife who accepts bookings does a pretty good job of convincing people to move their party to a Saturday. More often than not she works it out. Our business continues to grow. I would like to think that part of that growth is.... I am being blessed for working harder to keep my Sabbath day holy. I can just say the electric bill is always paid, I never miss a meal and our business is prospering. It seems to be working just fine. If you wish to rack it up to good marketing and face painting so be it. Either way, my method works for me. If your way works better and you are happy, then do it your way.

If you want to learn more about the LDS faith then check out www.lds.org or ask me any question you like.

Gary Cole




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