Throughout the years I’ve struggled with the ten commandment of keeping the Sabbath. Early in my Christian walk I didn’t understand why God didn’t want us to do anything on the Sabbath. I felt like I was on a time-out looking at a blank corner. As I was raising children, I didn’t know how it would be possible to not work. Does everyone just not eat one day a week? Even after my children left the nest, I have wondered what is the point of doing nothing?
It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have realized it’s not about doing nothing. The point of it really isn’t even making sure I don’t do any ‘work’ by making sure I don’t lift a finger. It’s about refreshment through connection with God, others, and self. I can be so task-oriented that I lose my connections throughout the week. Sabbath is an opportunity to become renewed. When God sat down on the seventh day, He looked over all that he had created and saw that it was good. There was enjoyment and satisfaction. Sabbath is a gift, not a rule.
As I began pursuing refreshment through connections, I found myself easily distracted by left-over undone tasks from the week. My mind often went blank trying to think of those things that I enjoy doing when faced with a mountain of dishes or emails needing to be returned.
One of the things that has really helped me to pursue refreshment has been to make a Sabbath Task List to ‘get accomplished.’ Now, I know what you are thinking… “this lady is neurotic.” Well, it’s true…I am. But I have to work with what I got. The reality is: I am a full-blooded, task-oriented, goal-driven American and I need to do what helps me the most to ‘accomplish’ rest. I realize this would not work for some, but it does work for me. And maybe, if you are a full-blooded, task-oriented, goal-driven American, it might help you as well.
Here’s what my ‘task-list’ includes:
Worship at church (and throughout the day)
Take a nap
Read an extra chapter
Sit in the Jacuzzi
Find a Scripture to meditate on for the week
Take a walk outside and breathe fresh air
Do something artistic
Call extended family members
Message my head (takes only a couple of minutes but oh so sweet!)
Celebration lunch or dinner with friends
Play a game (with another human not on electronics)
Write a hand-written note to someone I love
Take an inventory of the week (the good, the hard and the messy that I need to amend)
My list is not so much of a ‘task’ list as it is a reminder of the things that refresh my soul. I often can’t get to doing everything on my list and that’s alright. I have pursued refreshment and connection and at the end of the day I am satisfied.