Monday, January 05, 2009

Full Stop

Yesterday was the first "Sabbath Eve" of 2009 and really, my first go at this new rhythm of life that I want to incorporate. Saying that sounds funny because, after all, I have been going to church every Sunday for the past 40 years or so. But going to church does not make Sabbath.

I went into the weekend with my usual mental To Do list, knowing that what didn't get done on Saturday was not getting done this weekend.

Yikes! This added a new dimension to Saturday. I found myself prioritizing and getting on with things a bit quicker than my normal sluggish pace. :) It wasn't that I felt pressured or driven, but there was sorting as I went through the day: "This can wait until next week--this needs to get done today."

It felt like different and good; as though there was a boundary, or border, at the end of my week. I tend to have a distorted sense of time and think of it as flexible and fluid, so a limit was a good thing.

As I anticipated the coming Sabbath, I still found myself thinking of things that I would do (perhaps I need a brain transplant to stop that), but they were different, restful, replenishing things that made me feel as if a holiday was coming. And yes, that is what the Sabbath is; a holy day. I woke up ready to celebrate it and my first conscious thought was thanksgiving for the gift.

In England, instead of the word "period" for the punctuation mark at the end of a sentence, we use "full stop." Coming to a full stop at the beginning of a week is quite counter-intuitive. Everything in us screams at us to get going, but God says, "Stop; look at me, listen, give attention to me."

While waiting for communion in church this morning, I thought to myself, "God probably wants to interrupt our schedules," and I thought of Jesus and how he interrupted eternity for us. Hmmm...perspective.


asgoodadayasany said...

"Full stop"....wonderful!

I celebrated the sorting, the looking forward and the "holy day" feeling as I read your words.

Have you noticed how, in the Creation account, God stopped at the end of each day? He had more He planned to do, but He stopped and said "It is good." So many of us (myself included) lack the "it is good," We come the end of a day, a week and a year tired, but with no sense of accomplishment. It's the full stop that is missing. The Sabbath was made for us.

This is an easy muscle to neglect. Intentionality is needed. Go, Belinda! And thanks for the reminder.

Blessed With 4 said...

Thank you for this. The perfectionist in me forgets to full stop each day. I see things undone or uncleaned and I try to do it in between shows or whatever. I am going to make it a priority to full stop at the end of each day.
Blessings, BJ

Belinda said...

Bless your hearts. You have no idea how encouraging it is to be doing this with friends, "Spurring each other on to good works.":) Thanks for your encouragement Marilyn and Blessed!

Angcat said...

'Coming to a full stop at the beginning of the week..."
I like that. It's like stopping before we start.
I read somewhere recently that the Hebrew way of seeing the day is like that too. They start the day by going to bed (sundown is the start of the next day? or something like that). But it is a very restful way to live, philosophically.

The Bible is so full (ie: Isaiah 58) of admonishment for those who break the Sabbath. It really is for our good, yet is so hard to keep to in our busy way of living.

Way to go for choosing Belinda.

I hope to begin this journey too.