Working For the Weekend

sabbath-restThe weekend is a funny thing, isn’t it? We wait all week to get there, we work hard and keep it in our sights all week long. When it finally comes, we celebrate, we proclaim, “TGIF,” and we party like it’s 1999…….right?

Well, that may have been the case back when we were teenagers. Maybe we even carried it into our 20s and 30s, but at some point, it seems that we begin to understand that the whole purpose of the weekend was to actually rest and recreate. After all, there is a reason that some of us call the weekend a Sabbath.

Of course, not everyone does this. There are some people who simply see Saturday and Sunday as an extension of the work week. Some of those people do it because that’s the nature of their job. Others do it because they are drive, motivated, and (possibly) obsessive people.

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a room full of young moms about Sabbath. I felt a little inadequate on a few different levels, not the least of which was the fact that instead of speaking, I felt more like I should be listening to this roomful of wisdom. Young moms are a resource that more people need to encourage and tap into because of the collective wisdom that they have and can offer.

But I also felt inadequate because speaking about Sabbath rest to a roomful of women who can barely find 5 minutes to themselves can feel a bit overwhelming. The biblical mandate for Sabbath speaks of setting aside a day of rest, how could that possibly be on the radar of people who can’t think about an hour of rest?

As with so many other things in life, we don’t get there overnight. As the old adage says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It’s taken us a long time to get to where we are and it will most likely take a good deal of time for us to establish a new norm, a new way forward. Just because it takes time and work doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile though. What things have you ever found that were valuable and didn’t require work?

As I said to that roomful of moms that morning, you’ve got to start somewhere. You need to find an hour or two and fence it off. Protect it…..relentlessly. Let everyone know that it’s important to you, that you’re not to be disturbed during that time. Communicating that to infants, toddlers, and children is a challenge at best and a fiasco at worst, so enlist the help of someone else to make it happen. We aren’t alone in this and we weren’t created to be alone. Set the time aside and then make it happen.

Once you find that time and fence that time off, use that time to do the things that energize and recharge you. A Sabbath, a weekend, they’re not there for us to get ahead on the stuff that we do Monday through Friday, they’re there so that the stuff that we do Monday through Friday can be better because by the time we get back to them after some rest, we are fired up and ready to go.

I’m no expert in Sabbath rest. I’ve gone weeks without really taking some down time. Sometimes that’s a stage of life thing, but other times it’s because I’ve not relentlessly protected the time that I had set aside. No one else will protect it if you don’t. If you compromise it, everyone else will as well. That’s an important lesson that I am learning. If I set aside a day to step away and yet engage in every phone call, email, test, or social media post that comes across my path or screen during that day, I’ve said with my actions. rather than my mouth, that this time isn’t important to me.

Rest. Relax. Recharge. Find restoration. I’m learning through my limited experience that the more I take time for these things, the better I am to do the things that I have to do throughout the week, and the better I am to be around.

It’s an uphill battle, but the reward at the top of the hill is completely worth it.

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