Recently my doctor told me, that for my health, I had to find a way to reduce stress in my life. Like, really reduce it—not just the occasional bit of exercise or meditation. After some discussion, I arranged to have Sabbath Tuesdays. Tuesday is not a day of the week that usually has meetings or deadlines or other urgent bits of business.
A Sabbath day is what it sounds like: a day to do nothing except to recharge. It is not a day of rules of what I can or cannot do. Rather it is a day to do only what I want to. No alarm rings. I make no appointments for that day. I may do some things, but only if I feel moved to.
This is a day that has changed everything. Yes, I have other days off, but they are usually filled with errands and chores and appointments.
I wake with this sense of calm. There are still the usual things like feeding the cats and making breakfast, but there is no rush, no thinking about all the other things that will follow, all the other things I “have” to do.
The day unfolds as it will. I may read, watch TV, walk, meditate, bake—as the spirit moves me.
And it has become a day apart, a day with its own movement of time and rhythm. It is a day that just “is” when neither the past nor the future impinge. And that has taken some intentional work, to let go of the past and the future. It is a day that makes all the rest of the week smoother, easier to deal with, the bumps and concerns more in perspective.
Now, I have no children at home, no elderly parents to care for, and a job that enables this flexibility. This full day may be not be possible for everyone.
But see if you can find a time, a morning or afternoon or evening, preferably the same time every week (the routine of it seems to be important) that can become empty time: empty of chores or work or other demands, that you can simply fall into like a soft, welcoming pillow. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember that Sunday afternoon feeling before shopping and sports and all kinds of other activities filled it up. Like that.
Find some time to just be. Be disciplined and intentional. I think you will find it a blessing.
There was so much wisdom all those centuries ago when the Hebrew people searching for their new land heard God say to them, Rest. You, your servants, the strangers among you, even your animals. Rest and remember my love for you.