Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thoughts on Sabbath

In recently coming out of a Bible conference designed around the theme of Sabbathing, I've been contemplating what Sabbath looks like in my life. A couple of years ago, I decided to try practicing the Sabbath every Sunday. I would make sure my homework was done the night before, go to church, possibly attend a Bible study, return to campus and... cry.


Sundays were the hardest days of the week for me. I felt so alone and so restricted to not working. I remember one such Sunday where I came to a breaking point. It was in my days as an RA...

I had gone to church and sat by myself because I didn't really have friends at church. {By the way, in my journey to church, I rode the elevator down since it was Sunday and I didn't like taking the stairs (despite what I would try to tell myself on the other 6 days)}. I returned to campus, ate at the caf... had my usual Sunday brunch (tradition makes me happy). On the brink of tears, I walked back to my dorm room. "Why the heck can't I get happy on Sundays?" There were too many people around me at church, yet nobody said hello. I couldn't find a single person to sit with at lunch even though I was the RA; the floor leader... and then it happened. I was making some coffee and walking to the lounge with my favorite mug, when it slipped from my hands and shattered into bitty pieces. I lost it; my composure was completely out the window at that moment. I cried out of frustration and anger and sadness. My favorite mug. On a Sunday. When I was just trying to do the right thing. My sweet friend, Brittany found me in the hallway crying over that metaphoric spilled milk and offered a hug. Then she brought over some superglue and helped me glue the mug back together (it later became that pencil holder up there).

"Brittany, why are Sundays so hard? Why is resting and not doing anything and trying to channel the Lord so lonely and depressing?" She didn't necessarily have an answer for me, but she was there. She and Marianna... my two go-to sisters of the year. Still love them with that whole big chunk of my heart, set aside just for loving special people.

So I didn't get the Sabbath. And for whatever reason, I didn't get how spending more time with God on Sundays was gonna make Sabbath run more smoothly. So I increased my amount of "healthy distraction" activity and decided Sundays were not the end-all standard for a day of rest.

God has now taught me how to make weekend mornings into "the" Sabbath. From Sunday-Thursday, my day starts at 8:00 (meaning I'm up much earlier)... so on Friday and Saturday mornings, I sit with some form of warm beverage, and soak in his Word. I usually do something with my creative energy too. I create a new recipe, make Christmas gifts, wash dishes in that weirdo method of mine that only makes sense on slow mornings. When I am quietly putsing around my home on those mornings, I feel God with me. I know he is communing with the most intimate parts of my soul that love to rest, create, and enjoy.

I'm all about the Sabbath. But I'm also all about doing whatever makes sense for you. What God really cares about is the heart... and my heart is happy in his presence on a slow, purposeful morning. Thanks Jesus for that personable, firm, sweet grace of yours.

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