500: Sabbath

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500: Sabbath

It’s an appropriate topic given the day, the 24hr rest, the come-away time, the break, the long nap, the escape, the excuse to go nowhere, the convenient practice, the reason for not doing homework, the reason for not clocking in, the oddest day of the week, the most special time…

I keyed in that paragraph this morning as part of this habit I long to develop. Writing. Daily. 500 words is a start. I put those words into my phone as my husband drove us all to church. I thought those words as the early start and quick pace of the morning had my mind unable to think clearly through the song set I was to lead a couple of hours later.

It’s what I’ve grown up calling a “day of rest” and what I’ve grown to experience, more often than not, as a “day of rush”–at least to begin with. And by the end, I’m spent. Sunset comes and goes. I’ve caught my breath by lunch and time with friends in the afternoon is often and good. But the day ends as quickly as it began and I find myself wishing I’d done it differently, most times.

“People will remember how you begin and how you end.” Mr. Boward, my high school band teacher, gently drilled that into my flute-playing ears. We’d rehearse the first and last few measures time and time again…and time…again.

I guess that’s what I’m missing from my Sabbath experience–rehearsal. Its beginnings and endings won’t get any better until I intentionally rehearse them.

Someone’s legalism radar just began an incessant beep. Hold your horseeees. I’m not frustrated with my lack of routine. While there are various principles I live by, I don’t do well with having to live out those principles in the exact same way all the time. Granted, that has made exercising, sleep training (for my daughter), cooking, and various other things much harder than needed, but anyway… The sort of rehearsal I speak of is on a meta level, if you will. (I don’t use that sort of lingo much so forgive me if I use it a bit loosely.) Here’s how I see it playing out:

  1. Sabbath needs to begin when it ends. As I map out my week, part of that map needs to include a more intentional approach to the stuff I want done in order for Sabbath to be the refreshing, renewing 24 hours that God intended it to be. From a clean bathroom to an ironed Sabbath outfit, stuff needs to begin before Friday morning. That way I can begin nicely, calmly. I value peace.
  2. Sabbath needs to be on paper. I do well with visual aids. If, as I anticipate the week ahead, I see that Sabbath is going to be full OR relaxed, I need to consciously ponder the ramifiations of the day. If we’re heading out of town, what will we need? If we are or are not inviting anyone over for lunch, how would I like to spend the afternoon? If our daughter is going to be dedicated, what will that entail? (And that’s truly happening next Sabbath.)
  3. Sabbath needs freedom from my perfectionism. Another critique I’m expecting is along the lines of, “Michaela, you should really just ease up, relax, stop trying to control the Sabbath.” Believe it or not, that’s actually what I’m working toward. Perfectionism typically kicks my tail when I haven’t taken the time to think something through, when I haven’t forced myself to stop long enough to assess life. It shows up in the moment that looks like failure and screams, “Why didn’t you do XYZ??!!” I trust that taking a bit of extra time to think about Sabbath’s beginning and end will make it even easier to roll with the punches. And in time, practice makes possible.

Well, I’m well beyond 600 words…Goal attained. Not sure what tomorrow’s 500 will entail. Feel free to suggest topics. I mean that. What would you like me to write about?

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