September 23, 2017
I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Technically, it’s a day late, but Sunday as a day of rest is really appealing to me tonight. It’s been a busy week, culminating in a five-hour meeting today followed by helping my son get his winter wood in. Truth be told, I think I’ve over booked. I’ve made commitments that while manageable, are right on the edge of being more than I want on my plate at the moment. For Linda and me to get even an afternoon away for ourselves almost takes an act of God; the schedules are that full.
For many people I know, it wouldn’t be a problem, but this old introvert is feeling the need for some down time. Which is what the Sabbath is all about. It seems strange to me that Christians often see it as a badge of piety to be so busy with “the Lord’s work” that they never take a day off. Maybe it’s the need to be needed that drives so much Christian effort. Whatever the motivation, that word “drives” haunts me. The Psalm says God leads us beside still waters; it doesn’t say he drives us. There is a big difference between the two, and if I am feeling driven, I can be pretty sure it’s not the Lord behind the wheel.
We ignore the Fourth Commandment to our peril. We keep winding the strings tighter and tighter and are surprised when they finally snap. And when they do, like a snapped guitar string, you don’t want to be near it when it pops. People get hurt when we fail to rest.
I need time to feed my soul. There is no such thing as fast-food Christianity. God’s work in our souls is more like crock-pottery cooking; it takes time to simmer. So tomorrow, we worship, soaking our souls in word, song, and prayer, and if we’re really lucky, in silence. In the afternoon, we have a birthday party for granddaughter Madeline, and School of the Arts after that. It’s not a full twenty-four hour rest, but that’s the goal. I am thankful tonight for an evening home, for the weekly break that forces me to consider the reason for all I do, and for this Fourth Commandment that keeps pricking my conscience for the good of my soul.