Snowed In for a Sabbath

For a kid who grew up in Southern California, the notion of a ‘snow day’ may seem like a foreign concept. But, the eleven years we lived in the Chicago area taught us something pretty amazing. On those unique days when snowstorms overwhelm the city and life comes to a halt, the unplanned respite from work and regular ritual does something powerful for your soul and your relationships.

A snow day is like a spontaneous vacation. Because you can’t go anywhere, most people hole up at home with their kids. They play cards. They build puzzles. They start reading a new book. The bake cookies. And they wonder, “how come we don’t do this more often?”

What if God intended for us to enjoy days like this on a regular basis? What if human beings weren’t designed to work 24/7? What if the well-being of our souls called for time to pull-back from the drivenness of our normal life for a chance to replenish and refresh in relationship with those we love on a frequent basis?

What if God’s design of a weekly Sabbath was just such a plan?

Pete Scazzero, suggested the correlation of Sabbath and snow day in his book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and I find it powerful. In the ministry world in which I live, there seems to be no real boundaries between when work starts and when it stops. Email is sent and waiting 24/7. People I work with live across multiple time zones. My cell phone is accessible in every state and almost every country at any time.

Yet, without a Sabbath break, my soul starts to run thin. So, I am trying to do a few things differently these days. Much as possible, I try to shut down from email and phone calls on Friday afternoon and let things sit until Monday. I try to get in some kind of extended exercise-usually a long bike ride. Church services are not something I squeeze in, but a relaxed place of worship and renewal. And, along the way, I try to enjoy extra time with Margaret and Tiffany.

I have to admit that at times, these Sabbath breaks create a backlog of work I have to dig out from the next week, but they leave me so much more refreshed.

It’s almost like a rhythm we were made for.

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