LTJ: A Sabbath Rest

I have had a very busy month. Actually, more like two months. During these weeks I celebrated 45 years of marriage, met half a dozen writing deadlines and took my son, Jay, to doctors for a very painful foot which turned out to be a stress fracture—yes, he is in an orthopedic boot.  I was keynote speaker at a couple of women’s retreats, advocated for my son with special needs at a hearing with DDSD, sold the house our family lived in for 22 years, bought another house, celebrated Jay’s 35th birthday with a party in Tulsa, and survived a round of “shingles.”  It was my second time around for this “dastardly disease” and for those who aren’t acquainted with this illness, just know that it has nothing to do with roofing!

Of course, there were other things going on like laundry, cooking, cleaning (well, a little), along with talking to my grandchildren via phone and even seeing a few videos of their activities.  The sight of a three-year-old fishing and a five-year-old doing Taekwondo are award winners in this grandmother’s book.  But today I am simply relaxing—“chilling” as the younger generation says.  No deadlines on today’s calendar.  No place I have to be in this 24-hour period other than taking Jay for his daily Coke.  There is no one ill or in dire need—a huge blessing.  No business calls on my agenda and no planned visitors that would throw me into a cleaning frenzy.  Just warm sunshine blanketing my heart and home.  A peaceful time.  A respite. 

I need this time of rest—physically and mentally.  We all need a period of restoration, time for the mind and body to relax and recharge.  If the God of this universe, who spoke the world into existence, molded man out of clay and breathed the breath of life into him needed a day to rest, then certainly we need the same.  We need a Sabbath. 

When I was growing up, my mother was adamant that no unnecessary work be done on Sundays.  Living on a farm, the cows had to be milked, eggs gathered from the henhouse, and meals prepared, but it was not a day to “catch up” on chores after church as we so often do today.  I remember asking Mama if it was okay to sew on Sundays.  She responded wisely, “Do you consider it work or pleasure?”  That statement helped shape my philosophy about the Sabbath.  Yes, it is a day of worship and rest, but it’s also a time to enjoy our families and friends, as long as we dedicate the day to God and keep it holy, as the Bible says.

I think we all need a Sabbath rest.  Our minds are inundated with every electronic device imaginable.  We have TV, radio, CDs, DVDs, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.  We also have smart phones, iPads, iPods, desktop computers, laptops and online Yahoo groups vying for our attention, not to mention all the activities we try to squeeze into our schedules for our kids or ourselves.  We even cram work into
our vacations.

Maybe it’s time for a sabbatical, a leave from the ordinary work and stress.  A time to follow our hearts to a peaceful place.  When Jesus walked on this earth he often withdrew to a quiet place, away from crowds, to spend time alone with his heavenly Father.  I want to do the same.  I long for that gentle respite and solitude of the soul.  Perhaps we all need a Sabbath rest.

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