I’ve been reading this book lately about taking a Sabbath and it’s really got me thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a Sabbath. Ever.
I’ve always looked at the Sabbath like one of those OT things we just don’t have to do anymore. Jesus put a stop to that. Or did He?
Jesus never actually contradicted taking a Sabbath. He recognized it just like everyone else. What he did was protest the legalism of it. A Sabbath is a gift, and I think people often forget that as I have. And while my Sabbath may include an enjoyable stroll in a park, someone who hates walking would find that tiresome work. Hence, I think everyone’s Sabbath will look a little different. Did God create a Sabbath because He needed to rest, or because He deserved to rest? Or was it because He just wanted to rest?
Its amazing how in today’s society, no one “deserves” to rest. Rest is considered watching TV…while cooking dinner, folding laundry, making tomorrow’s to-do list, and checking email. We’re a society obsessed with multi-tasking, and then obsessed with labeling it as some sort of mental disorder when it takes over our lives…like when we can’t, say, sit still long enough to enjoy a meal without feeling compelled to write a blog about rest (oops).
So I’m planning out my first Sabbath, and yes, it needs to be planned. Why? Because in order to truly have a day of rest, especially a weekly one, a lot needs to be considered. Do I have enough clean clothes to go without washing for a day? How about food? What do I consider work? I don’t have a “job”, but I none-the-less do work everyday. I can’t rest from taking care of my toddler, so what can I rest from?
My list that I’m abstaining from is the following:
- Anything having to do with stress or a “to-do” list. This would include driving, because people driving around here stress me out. It would also include shopping, because standing in line to check out with a toddler and spending money stresses me out.
- Cleaning House.
- Doing laundry.
- Checking emails.
- Reading any books that would add to my “to-do” list.
- Contemplating the past or future too much, unless it is in a thankful manner.
- The slavery of criticizing my body, perfectionism, fear, possessions, anger, and finishing things.
- Over or under eating.
- Not giving my “servants” (aka…people who serve me…at stores, restaurants, etc) a day off. Everyone deserves to rest.
So, what does one do on the Sabbath? In the past, I’ve assumed one went to church. While I find church delightful and the highlight of my week, I also drive there and volunteer there a lot, two things I would consider work. Hence, my Sabbath (at least this week) will be the traditional Sabbath…starting Friday evening at sunset until Saturday evening at sunset. And I will do the following on that day:
- Thank God for the moment.
- Observe the beauty around me.
- An activity that I consider a joy to do, with no obligation to finish
It will probably take me all week to prepare my house, my heart, and my mind to take a full day of rest. I will be freezing a crockpot meal or two, and perhaps will consider avoiding pudding altogether as to not have to clean up messes like this:
And we walk sightless among miracles.
- Jewish Prayer