13 June 2010

Sabbath & Me

I've been struggling with the question of Sabbath in our modern era. In Exodus there are very clear commands that we are to keep the Sabbath, a day of rest set apart for God. I'm all on board for having a day of rest, a day to put aside the distractions of the mundane everyday, slowing down so that we can reflect and focus on God; it's like hitting the reset button. On days where I do slow down and put aside the to-do list,the shoulds, oughts, wannas, and do what connects me with God, life is so much better. Yet as a modern day single lady it's hard to carve out a whole day of no work. With only 7 days in a week it's hard to take care of all the chores - laundry, dishes, cooking, bills, cleaning, etc. - and work a full-time job. Then add on top of that maintaining relationships, trying to get fit, be part of church and ministry, and all the other good stuff that fills my time. It's just all too much. How is one to keep the command of the Sabbath? Really, I am asking, how?

Today I tried to make a couple errands/to-do items more "Sabbath-y." I still needed to get some things accomplished but perhaps they could be done in a way that would promote rest, reflection, connection. One thing on the list was to go to the Eddie Bauer Outlet store in Woodburn to pick up another t-shirt and see what other deals might be had. Why not do that and then head out to Mt. Angel Abby to write the support letter that should have been done a week or so ago. It was a lovely day, the Abby was beautiful, as was the drive, had some interesting conversations with God, and I even got a first draft done of the letter.

But then the drive home happened. Just pass the Donald exit, the last exit for many miles, traffic came to a screeching halt. The trip took three times as long as normal. There is just something so wrong about putting a car into park while in the middle of the freeway. Since I didn't plan to be gone as long as I had, I didn't have any snacks and it was dinnertime. As we creeped slowly forward in short increments, my bladder likewise was filling. Not a good situation. Not very Sabbath restful. But what are you going to do? There is no where to go. Sit back, relax, laugh at the kid hanging his head out the window looking pitiful, pop in a Rich Mullins CD and go with the slow flow. Maybe it was God's way of slowing me down and giving me a Sabbath rest after all. Is it wrong that I am disappointed that after an hour of sitting on the freeway I wasn't even rewarded with seeing what caused the shut-down?

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