Sabbath: a period of rest.

Without Sabbath I do not know how I would function. I say this out of experience, for there have been plenty of times when I have failed to rest and as a result am a mess. Remind me of this when I forget to rest in the future.

The concept of Sabbath is rooted in the creation story: God worked to bring the world and all its inhabitants into being and when done, rested. He made this day of rest holy. I love that what was made holy was time. When I am actively choosing to not DO, it is good.

This of course is counter to much of our culture. We prioritize being busy and getting lots of stuff done, oftentimes allowing ourselves to be defined by our work. While doing our work well is so important, it is not meant to be all-encompassing. I am not simply Erinn Oxford, Director- my life is more nuanced than that.

The way my work looks demands that I carve out Sabbath on a weekday rather than a weekend. For me it is Friday. The biggest challenge I have is not making Friday my “catch-up day”. I could easily fill it with housework and all those things I failed to do during the week. I have to very intentionally choose to put those things aside and trust they will get done later. And here’s the thing: they do get done. By really resting, I am truly rejuvenated and able to return to work well.

I recently went to a place called the Cedars at L’Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill. The Cedars is a house that one can use for quiet spiritual retreat. Whenever I’m there, I am struck by the peace that the place exudes. I always wonder why it feels so challenging to recreate that same sense elsewhere. I’m coming to understand that what is unique about the Cedars is you go there expecting to rest.

I guess that’s the heart of Sabbath- that God gives us permission to approach a day EXPECTING to rest. What an amazingly wise, loving gift, one that helps me understand who I truly am and redirects my attention to the One who matters most.

Thank goodness for Fridays.