Friday, July 9, 2010

Day of Rest

I don't know about you, but when I am presented with a day where I have no responsibilities, no tasks, and no errands, I tend to gnash my teeth and look forward to it like a condemned man looks forward to the gallows. I just feel useless and anxious and adrift. Perhaps this can be traced to the fact that I tend to let my work define me. A day off from the "grind" and I grow restless and feel the strong pull back to my office. When I am away too long, I get that itchiness, that edginess, that irritability that the addict feels when he has gone without his fix for too long. I find this to be a particularly apt analogy.

Maybe this is the first time that you have seen someone describe it like this, but I know that I am certainly not alone in my "condition". All I have to do is drive into work on any given Saturday or Sunday. I see the sprinkling of cars across the lot and the lights on in the usual offices. It has been like this everywhere I have worked through the years.

Those of you who are familiar with biblical scripture may recall a particularly relevant verse from Exodus 31:15, "For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death." Yikes. I'm thankful that Jesus set aside the old covenant and does not look to condemn me for my work drive.

Recently I had a day where my schedule was completely blank. I was determined to try a grand experiment and to cease and be still. While initially it felt unnatural and nonorganic, I ultimately made it through. For some strange reason I felt a twinge of pride. I also found out, quite contrary to my expectations, that the world did not come to an abrupt end. Hmmm, who knows, maybe I will try this exercise again soon.