When I was younger, I didn’t understand Sabbath time like I do now. My family didn’t practice it and it’s not something we talked about. As I got older, I thought that Sabbath was about “not doing work” which I found very difficult, because I’m someone that likes to keep doing something. I can’t just sit.
I thought maybe, like so many other things in life, that I was just “bad” at Sabbath time. I knew it was about “keeping it holy” as the commandment says, but what exactly did that mean? Going to church? Praying a lot that day?
As I got older, I got it. Finally. This weekend was a perfect example of how much I got it. I’m thankful to God for taking the time with me, to work on me so I can learn and understand things. I like that my relationship with Him becomes better and then, so do my relationships with everyone else.
This weekend I “turned down the pace of this life,” which is a phrase I used years ago in a poem called “Real Life Princess.” I shared some of the poem here but here’s the line I remembered:
The gist of the poem is that I wanted to be just like all those women (princesses, to me) who had a life filled with family time they complained about as if it was a bad thing… they were so busy… they’re husbands were so annoying… But their life was like a fairy tale to me. I wanted the life that wasn’t filled with bosses who manipulated me by encouraging me to work my butt off without paying me what I was worth or who promised raises if I worked twice as hard as the men or other “favorites.” I wanted a life that wasn’t about healing the past and struggling to find my way or learning about love and boundaries. This was what a real-life princess was to me, someone who didn’t know how good she had it.
It’s interesting that this line about “the pace of this life” shows up in this particular poem, because “pace” is key to Sabbath time for me. I’m sensitive to noise and too much talking. I’m one of those people. I need my quiet time, and I used to hide that fact at work or in social situations because people made fun of me over it. I grew up thinking I was weird because of it, so I used to pretend to be extroverted once I got into the working world, all the while hiding in the bathrooms throughout the day so I wouldn’t have to listen to anymore chatter.
Now I see that this need for a slower pace, for a quieter environment, was my soul’s way of telling me that I needed to connect with God, and I couldn’t do it with a bunch of people trying to talk louder in my ear than God’s voice ever could.
Sabbath has become a way to center myself, to connect with Him so that I can recognize His voice. It’s about going to church, sure… and learning about his word… but it’s more than that. It’s more than just “not working.” In fact, I would argue that sometimes, especially when I’m writing poetry or painting that connecting with Him is exactly what I’m doing. That type of “work” helps me reach out to Him even more.
This weekend, I just hung out. Read. A lot. Snuggled with my pup and my hubs.
I glued glass together, because yeah… that fills my soul. As I stand there in my garage arranging dishes and bottles this way and that, I appreciate the colors, I listen to the birds in the nearby tree chirp, I marvel at the sunlight that takes an ordinary piece of glass and makes it so beautiful, and I appreciate all that God gives me. I talk with Him, listen to Him…
I also spent a lot of time in my studio painting. I need this so much. It helps me reach out to Him, meditate on His words in a completely different way, and appreciate the gifts He has given me. It reminds me of all the blessings I take for granted.
The Sabbath isn’t about sitting around doing nothing, but connecting with God. Spending time with Him. I’m so much more centered when I do this. I look at the world and myself differently when I do it.