SO when do you have some down time, she asked. When do you have a whole 24 hours off, doing something entirely different? I think I may have flushed in shame.
It's busy, I told my Spiritual Director, there's so much to be done. And Sundays are not working days right now. Not really. But I do need to write and post a blog on Sunday evenings. It's my main time to post, the time I have the best readership hits, and the only time I have right now to post. So Sundays are sort of off, just not completely.
So you are better than God? You don't need to rest?
I think I flushed again.
God created on six days. Then He rested on the seventh day - and made it a special day. A day of rest. (my loose translation of Genesis 2:1-2)
Yes, I know that. In theory.
Well, she said, and what about Hebrews?
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
I think I sat in silence.
But she was gently kind with me.
You need 24 hours off.
I nodded. I know that. In theory.
And you need to write and post a blog on Sunday evenings?
I nodded again.
So you need a Jewish-style sabbath. From Saturday late afternoon until Sunday late afternoon. How does that sound?
Relief flooded through me. YES. Yes, of course. Hadn't I taught and praught that exact same thing, some years ago, when I was ministering in a busy church in the States? And it had seemed to help a number of people then.
My mind leaped into overdrive.
Starting with supper and time with those I love best, on Saturday evening. A good night's sleep. Worship and praise, a walk, a relax.
And then, after proper Sunday tea, time to gear up again - after twenty four hours of creative relaxation. YES.
But what about those times when Saturday to Sunday would not be possible?
She considered. How many of those will there be this summer, over these next six or seven weeks?
Two, I worked out.
SO. Twice it has to be a different day of the week. Schedule it in now, put it in your diary. And otherwise, use the Jewish Filofax and have a real sabbath from six on Saturday to six on Sunday. And when we meet again in early September, I shall ask you about your Sabbath rests.
* * * *
This past twenty four hours has been the first of my summer sabbaths.
Excitedly, when the clock showed 6pm last night, I knew I had twentyfour hours of sabbath. Of real rest. No need to DO. Time to BE.
And I have to say it has been a wonderful time!
Of course, it has included -
- a wonderful outdoor party: our neighbours were celebrating 20 years of marriage with a hog roast for 150 people, a live band, dancing
- a deep sleep with the windows wide; warm country air wafting in
- gentle awaking, an hour's walk with dog and husband in early morning sunshine, wild flowers, summer fields
- Holy Communion, ancient words and worship in an ancient village church, warm friendly smiles and coffee, friends new and old alongside
- impromptu lunch under old trees with friends in their garden, looking at their mediaeval court house
- tennis. Need I say more? WE WON! Or, at least, he did. We shrieked with excitement, drank Lapsang, exhaustedly triumphant
- took friends around our home to see what's been done this past week or two; watered the polytunnel bursting into life, watched the swifts swirl around the roof top and skim into the garden
* * * *
And now. Now it's time to gear up again. After rest and love and fun and worship. After down time and up time, time with the Lord and time with friends.
All is gift. And I am rested and relaxed and restored.
My sabbath rest has been all that I hoped and much much more.
A good start.
Thanks to my Spiritual Director.
And God's good example.
* * * *
When do you have a proper sabbath? What works best for you?