This morning as I was prepping to walk Clive and stretch my legs I mentioned to Pam that I feel like I haven’t had a day off in a month. Then while I was walking Clive and listening to the latest episode of the great podcast The Mockingcast, low and behold they mentioned how they felt the same way.
It really isn’t that I feel overworked. I don’t. It is more that I feel like I haven’t been able to stop thinking about and doing small things related to my two jobs (both of which I love). There is always something else that can be done and not really a way to escape it. I can always send out another email, work on another Sunday video gathering, write another devotional or email, etc., etc. and for many of us the means to do these things are in the workspaces that we have created for ourselves. Our workspace is now in our homes and our “office hours” are pretty much 24/7.
This doesn’t mean that I am productive 24/7, actually quite the opposite. I think I am less productive because I feel that I am working all the time. Worse still I don’t know how to live out the Sabbath now.
I believe the Sabbath in scripture is a purposeful act of trust and rest. It is an act of trust because it is an acknowledgment that we are dependent upon God. To not work one day a week, and once a year seven years, in an agrarian society is an amazing act of trust. It is pure reliance. I feel pretty good about trusting the Lord right now. A pandemic has a tendency to remind one that you aren’t in control. The bigger issue for me right now is the idea of rest that is involved in the Sabbath.
The Sabbath says “it is enough”. We can rest because we don’t have to achieve more or do more. We stop and rest because with God there is enough and there is no need to achieve, acquire, or do more. But now there is always the possibility of doing more. There are only so many times that I can walk Clive around the block, take him for a ride, or go for a run to escape this. So I think “well I can work on that” and I give into it.
In normal times I would go fishing or go somewhere to make it where I couldn’t work, but that isn’t really an option during the “safer at home” situation we are presently in and the weather in Wisconsin is that terrible time when it isn’t cold enough for Winter sports and too cold for Spring outdoor activities.
I know there are bigger issues in the world, but right now I am trying to figure out how to practice Sabbath in the pandemic because I think it is very important.