Pattern. Schedule. Regularity. Ordinary. Sometimes I rebel against these things. Linda and I sat down after breakfast this morning to map out our calendars for the year. With eight grandkids in three different school districts, swim meets, soccer games, choral and instrumental concerts can get a bit daunting, especially when two or three events are scheduled for the same day. And that's just the school activities of the grandkids; we haven't even talked about our own stuff. Linda will soon begin teaching her exercise class, going to swimming, breakfast meetings, library board, women's Bible study, while I meet with people most of the day on Tuesdays, have band rehearsal twice a week, men's Bible study, teaching bass on Sunday evenings, meetings for the prison ministry, and assorted other commitments. Just looking at the calendar sometimes makes me want to crawl into a hole. I'm not a people person, and constant activities drain me. I had made the assumption that retirement would mean I could do what I want when I wanted. Not quite.
It's at times like this that the ordinary, the mundane and banal appeal to me. The fourth Commandment that we honor the Sabbath day has fallen out of favor in our secular, busy world, but our need for rest, for time to step back from everyday life so we can get some perspective, is as important today as when that commandment was first given. We take time with God in the morning so that we can orient our minds and hearts before the day thrusts itself upon us. I need similar time in the evening to lay the day to rest, to offer thanks for the grace offered me, ask forgiveness for my failures and shortcomings, and to place it all in the hands of the God whose love is so deep that he gave up his Son to the Cross so we could have new and abundant life.
Above all, I am looking forward two days for that weekly grace given where the entire day is set aside for holy purposes. It will help me reorient for the busy week to come, an adjustment I will sorely need and gratefully receive.