It is the end of a Sabbath day and it probably defeats the whole idea of Sabbath for me to be writing this. However, part of Sabbath for me is rejoicing and experiencing God. I have. Not just today but during this “Sabbath” of recovery. Here is what I am learning about “Sabbath.”
It does not HAVE to get done. I am the kind of person who makes a “to do” list not just on what needs or must happen but on what ought to happen. This week I wrote my covenant for my work. I was late with it. I told my supervisor I just could not wrap my mind around it. “Take your time, “ she said. “Think about it. Be realistic.” Realistically if it involved travel, time on my feet, extraneous activity, etc it just was not going to happen. I looked at what seemed to me a bare covenant. It did not include basics for me such as intentional regular hospitality. What did it include? Moving forward with Threads by Nomad. (If you are in Houston join us this Friday!) Encouraging leadership in the various organizations I am affiliated with. Working to equip those who have a heart for the nations living among us. And the hospitality? Well others are stepping up to the task. Husband, daughter, friends all have helped and are helping to make it happen while I watch. Sabbath….it does not have to get done. Take the time to reflect and to be grateful for community, Nell.
You do not have to have a goal. I love my garden. I love my own back yard wherever it happens to be more than any other place I can imagine. It is a happy place. This whole debacle happened as I was putting in our vegetable garden for this year. Yes, well that did not happen. That garden is blank. Today, I just wanted to work in the dirt. There was no task to complete. No, get the garden in so you can harvest at the appropriate time. No goal. Just go “toodle.” My kids tell me this is not a word. It most certainly is! In my vocabulary it means, “just go mess around doing what brings you peace and tranquity.” Sabbath….you don’t have to have a goal and a time frame. Take the time to enjoy and be at peace, Nell.
You don’t have to rush off to the next thing. I like to think as a minister, I notice people. Perhaps not like I should! I have noticed more people with walkers, canes, and wheelchairs than I ever have in my life. Recently in a public gathering as I passed by I heard, “We have a lot of cane walkers today.” I thought, “Is that what I am? A cane walker?” I was not hurt or offended. I just had to wonder if I too reduced people to their level of disability, or nationality, or color, or dress or whatever. A short time later, it would have been easy to not notice her. She came to us after we had finished speaking. I knew when she approached me, that to scuttle off to the worship service was not the right thing. We did talk a bit about what we had presented. However, as she spoke and tears came to her eyes, I knew why the Lord had stopped me. She was going through her mother’s things after her death. She wanted to honor her mother. I was able to hug her and tell her how I understood the struggle since we had the same experience. We cried together and talked about ways to honor her mother with her valuables. Not riches like we might think of, but clothes, books, kitchen gadgets, antiques, etc. Sabbath….you don’t have to rush off to do what appears to be the “holy Christian thing” to do. Take time to notice people, to listen and be a friend to stranger, Nell.
If you feel the need/urge to do it, but it seems like a complete waste of time, perhaps you should do it. A whole Saturday afternoon. A whole Sunday afternoon. To be sure I had tasks during the morning. But I had these rare afternoons free. What should I do? REHAB EXERCISES!!!!! Because if I want this behind me, then I must progress! I must work and work hard at the rehab! But today the sun and the book were calling. So I stopped. No walking. No 60 minute killer exercise routine. No stationary bicycle. Just time with a good book in the sun. Sabbath….you can lay aside the “determination” and do what rehabilitates the spirit as much as rehabilitates the body, Nell.
I am moving slowly these days in more ways than one. Physically to be sure. The physical has caused me to look at the spiritual. Sabbath….#thisiswhatrecoverylookslike #everydayalittlebetter