Saturday, August 3, 2019

A few sabbath hours

How hard it is to take sabbath!

I've been reading lately in both Exodus and Deuteronomy about God's concern for his people to take time for rest. I'm confronted again and again by my warped perception that I am lazy, that I don't work enough or hard enough. I track my hours and make sure, week by week, that I am dedicating full-time work and more than full-time work to my day job, and yet...

And yet, perhaps because growing up on the farm the work was never, never done, I always feel like I have quit before the job is finished. It's a rare day when I lay my head down at night feeling like I have done enough.

Not to give the impression that I am some type-A driven juggernaut. Not at all. But I have a sense that the days are precious, and most of them include some opportunity to make hay while the sun shines, and most evenings I have a picture in my mind of swaths of mown alfalfa lying in the field waiting to be baled.

Today I have a few work duties to attend, but they are important, not urgent. I need to start looking ahead to a course I'll teach this fall. I need to begin thinking in specific depth about a sermon I'll preach in two weeks. These things are immeasurably important, but they are not so urgent that I watch the minutes tick away with a deepening sense of panic.

What to do with the sabbath hours? I am listening to a couple podcasts. I am experimenting with a new recipe. I have been out just a bit soaking up morning sunshine. I have been deep in scripture and musing over the turnings of my life and my heart, lazily contemplating the future. I am in conversation with a friend on the other side of the world about a shared adventure this winter. The day is not empty. Rather it is full in the most peaceful, restful sense.