Last fall, one of our chapel speakers talked about the importance of a Sabbath day. In our modern culture of packed schedules and busyness, you'd think Christians would prize a day where we are supposed to rest and recharge. But we don't. Even on Sundays, the day we usually go to church, we don't rest. Often, we run errands, work from home in the afternoons, and get chores done around the house.
Yet God tells us in Exodus 20:8 and 11, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy...For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
So why aren't we trying harder to honor the Sabbath day?
Ever since that chapel, I've been actively trying to honor a Sabbath day. The speaker told us it doesn't necessarily have to be a Sunday, that his is Tuesday, and he begins it by making pancakes with his young son. My problem is, in finding the best day to rest, is that I have classes five out of seven days. Last semester, I worked on Saturdays and Sundays (although only at my dorm's front desk). And I can't forget the mountains of homework I had and still have, enough that I can't get it done all in one day.
But then last weekend arrived, and on Friday, I decided something. I was going to try to honor the Sabbath on Saturday. I was still scheduled to work the front desk, but it's not hard work, and I can honestly do whatever I want while I monitor the desk. I can read a book or format some blog posts, neither of which I dread doing, which makes them not work in my opinion. I resolved, however, to do no homework on Saturday and to also set aside some time to read the Bible.
Overall, my attempt to have a Sabbath day went pretty well. I didn't feel exhausted at all, even though the entire week before had been one long day after another. I finished one book and read all of another. I formatted and scheduled several blog posts. I created a fictional royal family, just for kicks and giggles. I watched plenty of Netflix. I made a good dinner, and I read a chapter in Philippians (since my Bible app used a verse from that chapter as their verse of the day).
There were two things I did that Saturday, though, that I think keep me from entirely achieving my goal of having a Sabbath day. One: I washed dishes, which is definitely a chore to me. I didn't really want to, but someone had finally cleared out the sink on my hall, so I knew I needed to take care of the dishes piling up in my room.
Second, I had several moments where I felt anxious because I had homework that needed to be done and I wasn't doing it. I get that feeling whenever I'm taking a break and letting myself breathe, so this was nothing new. But I also think the whole point of a Sabbath day is to not worry about the work you should be doing and instead focus on God and the day of rest He has granted you. So I failed on that part a little. But I do think, for my first attempt, it was a good one.
As I write this a day later, I feel more well-rested than I have in a few weeks. I feel happy about making time to read. I've been meditating on the Scripture I read. I'm still thinking about how good that dinner was. So am I going to try to have a Sabbath day again? Absolutely. I'm not sure it will happen every week; I might have to aim for once a month at this point. But ya know, baby steps. When you're so entrenched in a culture of busyness, it takes time to break those old habits.
But trust me, I think consciously taking a Sabbath day is worth it.