Grocery shopping. Working late. Picking up kids from school. Homework, dinner, vacuuming. Meetings, soccer games, paying bills, more meetings. Ballet, birthdays, gym and research papers. The familiar lists of our daily lives.
When I was a kid, my parents designated Sunday as “Family Day.” I hated it. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t hang out with my friends. It was church on Sunday and then time spent doing various things: lunch, gardening, shopping, cooking… oftentimes we watched a movie or TV show together at the end of the day. As a kid, I learned to accept it. As an adult, I’m sure my parents needed one quiet day during the week to keep their sanity.
Last weekend we had a guest speaker at our church-a jewish rabbi. We transformed the church kitchen into a temporary kosher one. We cooked, sang and celebrated shabat with him. He gave keen insight into the tradition of resting.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” ~Genesis 2:2-3
In other words, God was stoked about all he had accomplished that week and rewarded himself with some relaxation.
I see a simple, yet clear, shining gem to take away from this verse. In the I-was-just-harvested-from-a-cave gemstone form, it simply suggests that we take a break at the end of the week; a day of rest to reflect and be thankful. In the polished-Jewish-multi-faceted form, it’s spelled out in a list of forbidden labors, holy foods and theological musings. However we choose to clean it and cut it, that gem belongs to us. If we want to follow in God’s footsteps, we’ll take a chill pill at the end of the week. Even from a non-religious standpoint, it still seems like a nice idea-does it not?
I like the notion of taking a break. I need a break. I’m in favor of spending the day doing something I find relaxing. Maybe it’s gardening. Maybe it’s staying in bed and watching old movies. Maybe it’s walking the dog or listening to music. “Rest” can mean many things to many people.
This Sunday, it means spending time with my husband, my dog and throwing something in the crock pot.
I’m in favor of rest- aren’t you?