I stayed late at work on Friday, finishing up lesson plans for the week. I went for a drink with co-workers and then I went home. I looked up the time that the sun would set (5:43) and realized I had 20 minutes before I wanted to light my candles and call it a Sabbath.
I bustled around finishing up the last of some chores I knew would need to happen for me to feel relaxed. I washed the dishes, ran the dishwasher, put away those dishes that were dry. I made my bed, put away my not-yet-dirty clothes and put my work bag out of sight. I defrosted the meat I wanted to use in my dinner and then, it was time.
I lit my candles and welcomed the Sabbath by laying in complete stillness on my bed before I finally opened my Bible and turned to worship. I made dinner, watched a favorite TV show, and was in bed remarkably early. It was 9:45 p.m. when I finally fell asleep, and 10:45 p.m. before I finally woke up again. Today, I spent the day with my dad at a soccer game, and then with a good friend at a class we had paid for learning how to sew. I ate dinner with her family before finally returning home again. As I sat down to write this I was struck by a few things. First of all, how rested I feel. While I am yawning, my body is content and at peace. I do not feel the usual anxiety that I feel on Saturday night, as another week begins to loom large. Also, I am excited to have found a new passion, something I wouldn’t have had the time or patience for if I hadn’t cleared my schedule and prepared for a Sabbath ahead of time. Did I keep my Sabbath perfectly? No, there are things I will change. Namely, I am contemplating taking a technological Sabbath each week, but I just didn’t feel ready this week. I am so used to filling the time and space in my life with the internet and the television, and in truth, I love my weekly routine of sitting down Friday night or Saturday morning to watch my Thursday TV episodes that I went to bed too early for the night before. Beyond that, I want to go grocery shopping on Fridays if possible, or at least carve out the time on Sundays and make my grocery list ahead of time. That was the one thing that hung over my head today.
Even so, I was shocked by how much I found myself anticipating my Sabbath. I woke up in the morning and thought “this is it, today I get to keep the Sabbath.” Leaving work I caught myself thinking “just a few more hours!” When I finally heard my alarm go off telling me the sun was setting, and I stood in front of the candles, the anticipation was palpable. Sabbath was here.