As I type this, I’m listening to the quiet rain fall outside, the streetlights shimmering in the dusk. It’s a quiet night…so far. I have the evening to myself, waiting for Jeff to fly home from his most recent work trip. The girls are tucked into bed extra early, one battling after-school exhaustion, and the other fending off her second ear infection in two weeks. These next couple of hours are completely mine, quiet and composed before we’re rushed with the onslaught of Easter celebrations this weekend.
Looking back to the beginning of the month, I have to chuckle. I had a plan on exactly how I was going to rest. I knew what it was going to look like – I had it all mapped out. And then my pre-scheduled, pre-planned, pre-programmed rest got side-tracked by sickness, forcing me into a very unintentional, unplanned standstill. In some ways, my Type A personality has a hard time not looking back at this past month and being discouraged by how I was unable to accomplish the exact rest that I had orchestrated in my head. Yet God has used this time to truly reveal important messages about His Sabbath. I don’t know if I would have had the ears to hear what He had to say if I was busy implementing my Sabbath, the way I thought it should be.
Reading the first account of the first Sabbath has made me realize the absolute holiness of keeping the Sabbath:
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2: 2-3.
Of all the amazing things God had created, the only thing that He deemed holy was the Sabbath. If you look back to chapter one of Genesis, there is no mention about the birds, the ocean, the fish, the trees, the land, or the animals being holy. We often talk about feelings of holiness or awe overcoming us when we spend time in God’s creation, in the world He spoke into existence. Yet the one thing in the whole creation story that God blessed and called holy was the seventh day – the often over-looked time called Sabbath.
Time. We treat it as so disposable. Something to be managed, controlled, planned. Trust me. I’m beyond guilty of this. As a young mom, I find that I’ve become a pro at wishing time away. So often I tell myself to just get through til nap time, or bed time. I comfort myself with sayings like “This too shall pass.” or “It’s the longest, shortest time.” It’s like time is something to endure, to get through. And in all that “enduring” and “getting through” we forget to rest, to Sabbath. We forget the blessedness and holiness of the time that God has given us.
Looking ahead I have much to still wrestle through in my Sabbath journey. Resting is hard as a young parent. I have so many questions about what practicing the Sabbath looks like for a weary Mum who can barely make it to the coffee pot in the morning. I want to dive into practical ways of carving out holy rest in the everyday moments, not just once a week. I want to talk to parents who have been there, who have battled through the trenches of sleepless nights, young kids, potty training, and temper tantrums. What did they do to honour the holiness of time, the blessedness of rest?
While this month may not be ending with a firm conclusion to my self-implemented challenge to rest, it’s instead starting like the beginning of a wonderful journey.