A friend of mine who works a lot of hours was told last week that they are a grown adult. They don’t need a day of rest.
Shudder, shudder, shudder! Ugh, ugh, ugh!
It was in fact a church member telling a church staff member that such time for personal rest was not necessary. The church member was angry that my friend put self care above meeting their expectations. I was mortified.
The longer I live, the more I understand that there is a very fine line between the good ole’ Midwestern work ethic and work-aholism. Every week I seek to practice Sabbath — an intentional pause. To cease. To stop. In order to rest. In order to re-connect with God in ways I cannot during demanding weeks of professional and personal responsibilities. To listen to my true name: precious child of God — not because of anything I do; but just because of God. Sabbath rest reminds me that I am not God. It’s not all up to me. If the church wants a Savior, I know a much better direction in which to point them. 🙂
I love the latest words about Sabbath that I discovered in Mary Ann McKibben Dana’s wonderful book Sabbath in the Suburbs. Mary Ann quotes Blu Greenberg, who writes: “Six days shall you be a workaholic; on the seventh day, shall you join the serene company of human beings. . . . Six days shall you be the perfect success; on the seventh day, shall you remember that not everything is in your power. . . . Six days shall you enjoy the blessings of work; on the seventh day, shall you understand that being is as important as doing.”
I need this reminder everyday, which is why I seek the balance of a sustainable life for my body, mind, and spirit. I don’t always get it right — which is why I keep on practicing. I used to spend untold hours on a basketball court seeking to perfect my jump shot. I figure I can give just about the same amount of effort to perfecting a life as centered as possible. Some days I’m like a wobbly lump of clay about to spin off the potter’s wheel. Other days I’m as ready as pliable clay in the potter’s hands, about to be made into something absolutely beautiful, useful, useable for the sake of another.
Rest . . . no matter what any other voice might tell us: ALL adults need it. All adults have been created for it by a most generous, peace-giving Creator. The Holy One who longs for us just to be together!
What have you noticed about such Sabbath rest?
Let us all know here — especially if you are a working parent or someone taking on more just to make ends meet. Extra prayers go to those of you!