"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11
I loved it. But my energy and enthusiasm for the job always began to wane before I even hit mid-semester. I took my work home, squeezing hours of curriculum development and parent communication between washing dishes, cooking, and trying to keep my home looking decent.
And God, well, I put Him neatly on a shelf. He was there on my commuting drives if my thoughts weren’t on other things. I tried to get into daily devotionals but my full mind and tired body made the task seem more like a chore than a time full of reflection and growth.
One Monday morning I turned on a Christian radio station as I drove to work. I caught the tail end of sermon and heard a woman talk about following the Ten Commandments. One she focused on was “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” I thought back on how I had just spent my Sunday and immediately felt uneasy. I had slept in, a little, and then cooked breakfast. While my husband had done some lawn work I had finished up grading. We had went to lunch with friends and I hadn’t been able to enjoy it because I had kept think of the housework left on my to-do list and worrying about the math lessons that I hadn’t reviewed yet. We got home later than expected and I had stressed myself out so much I was rude to my husband. When he had encouraged me to give things a break and relax, I almost jumped down his throat.
Who had time for a Holy day? But even as I argued it out in my head I felt distinctly like I was doing something very wrong.
Now, I’m a woman who doesn’t like to break rules and I’ve tried to be a good Christian most my life. The fact that I was blatantly disregarding one of the Ten Commandments didn’t sit well with me at all. So, by the middle of the week I had decided that I would do it. I would do no work on Sunday—no to-do lists, no schedules. And I would make it to church.
It was one of the toughest things I had done in a long time. Saturday night I was working hard on my school tasks and when midnight rolled in I packed it all up in my bag to take to work on Monday. I looked around at the house and prayed nobody would come by for a visit and then got into bed. When morning came I didn’t make a grand breakfast but went out and grabbed donuts. I couldn’t remember the last time I had done that. Me and my husband enjoyed them with our coffee as we watched the morning news and then we went to church. The sermon was beautiful and I remembered how much I always loved the music in churches. Afterwards, our lunch date with our friends was full of laughter. I called my parents when we got back and talked for a long while without begging off after a half-hour because I was too busy. Then, I grabbed my husband and snuggled with him on the couch while we watched a movie. Before I went to bed that night I took out my daily devotional and marveled at the lessons taught there.
Monday morning greeted me with hope and brightness. I went to work full of energy and ideas and growing sense of peace, a reminder that God’s strength goes with me wherever I am. God must have watched over me. There wasn’t a thing that was done late and I was excited for the work week ahead of me. Since then I’ve always remembered to have faith in God’s promises. If we do his commandments and are faithful to his words then we will be blessed.
And we are, we are truly blessed.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.