I tried taking a full day for Sabbath two weeks ago.
It didn’t work out.
I haven’t had an entire day of rest and to myself in…well. I don’t remember the last time.
I had planned for a day away from both of my jobs, a day with no church obligations, no travel, and no other scheduled appointments. I had planned to purposely stay away from school work. I tried to get all of my obligatory housework out of the way.
This was so important to me, I wrote it in all capital letters in orange ink in my Bullet Journal calendar.
Rest and rejuvenation was desperately needed.
I was so excited with the possibilities for the day.
And then I got a stomach bug the night before. Not my best look.
Yes, I wound up resting, but not the way I planned. Weak from my sickness, I couldn’t do much physically, my mental state was altered, and I never felt like I enjoyed the day. I wound up doing the homework I had wanted to do the night before my sabbath on my sabbath just so I could get it done.
My day of rest was a bust.
How do we rest? What does it look like for in American culture that values busyness and productivity? How does one take a sabbath day to rest?
One of my professors likes to provoke thought with this statement: A life without rest is a life spent in slavery.
If we perpetually work and work and work, our bodies, minds, and spirits wear down. They just do. None of us can sustain the workloads many of us bear, voluntarily or otherwise. Usually what happens is we combust and complain about the Dumpster fire of our lives and wonder in misery how we got “here.”
Our job is to try and prevent getting to “here” and instead find a way to stay among the living, the loving, and the thriving.
Some of us can’t take a break from work or our paychecks will suffer for it, creating panic and stress when we go to pay the bills because there isn’t enough to go around.
Others of us can’t take a break from work because we fear someone else getting ahead of us in the rat race of life.
Still others of us can’t take a break because we have no other identity than that of our busyness and calamity.
And there are others of us that think the world can’t function without us doing our jobs and busyness.
The above are all lies that we tell ourselves to avoid the quiet, calmness and stillness that comes with ordering our lives with God at the top and everything else coming in a distant second.
I am not a perfect example; while I schedule in sabbath moments during many of my days, it doesn’t replace a true full-day sabbath. And like I said earlier, I haven’t had one of those in a long while.
What might a Sabbath Day look like for me? What does one look like for you? Is it different than a vacation?
Maybe I need to just sit in a dark corner of my bedroom and meditate and pray.
Or go for a walk.
Or go out to eat.
Or eat another PBJ and stay home.
Or feast on the Word.
Or find a friend and hang out.
Or binge watch a TV show on Netflix.
Regardless, I will one day find a day different than all the others. That is my goal. Something different than all the days before.
Maybe next time with less focus around a toilet.