For the past couple of months I have been trying to faithfully keep Sabbath. Every Sunday evening I light a candle, turn off the computer, and begin a day of remembering God's day of rest. While I know that the Sabbath is properly from Friday evening to Saturday evening, I observe from Sunday evening to Monday evening, and I have tried to stay clear and mindful about how I spend that time. That is, until this week.
One of the things that I do every Sunday is call my mom. I am, after all, a good Southern reared girl with a deep sense of family. I touch base with my sister and my mom. When I was growing up I remember my parents calling their parents on Sunday. It is a Sunday ritual in my life. Sunday when I picked up the phone to call my mom I saw that I had an email. For, you see, I have a Blackberry, which is a completely evil tool. I couldn't resist checking the message. It was a reply to an email that I had send previously in the day. And it was an upsetting email. For the past day I have been unable to stop thinking about it, about work, and about my shortcomings at work. In checking that email I tossed this week's Sabbath time right into the crapper.
I have really enjoyed the past couple of months Sabbaths. After demarcating Sabbath time from the rest of the week by lighting a candle and saying a prayer, I read fun books - nothing about work. I sit on my deck, listen to the trees rustle in the breeze, make dinner and eat with family, sleep well, and spend time with friends. I turn off the computer, leave work stuff alone, and don't spend money. It's true that I have struggled to find a rhythm and a set of rituals that feel authentic and right. Being a Christian doesn't bring with it easy to use observance related activities! I enjoy the celebration of the Lord's Day, but I also have been craving that sense of relief that I have discovered in observing Sabbath.
Today was a disappointment. My actions were a disappointment. Why didn't I just leave the email alone? My refusal to do so underscores how far I have to go in remembering that my work is not the most important work; God's work is. The world will wait one day for me to check email. And perhaps if I can learn this lesson then I can get back to observing "Sabbath" and not "Crappath."
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