What would my week look like if I planned into it a day without tasks? Of course the obvious reply is: “Define tasks”
Well here are some tasks that are relatively simple to plan not to do on a particular day.
- Washing – certainly not load after load.
- Accounting tasks
- Batch cooking
- Shopping for birthday presents, and weekly supplies
- Going to the tip
- Preparing bible studies or Sunday School
- Cleaning the sinks……..
There are of course certain things that always need to be done, day in day out.
For example: Some form of feeding people; hanging out the school uniforms because they need to be dry by Sunday evening; cleaning up a spillage…
Or to use Jesus’ example: rescuing an ox that has fallen down a well.
The trick is to spot the difference coming upon a struggling ox (not something I can say has ever happened to me!) and doing what you can to help (not sure I would be of much use!) and scheduling yet another full day animal care into your week.
Get creative – or perhaps I should say less creative! Things that do have to happen daily can be simplified. Food can come out of the freezer or a jar or be prepared with someone you love in a way that is distinctive to that day as compared to the daily grind.
Which gets us to the crunch I think – how can we make a day distinctive and spacious? A day where the focus has shifted from getting things done and under control and subdued and all within a limited time frame, to enjoying, and resting and basking in the Lord’s goodness. A day of basking, of asking the Lord for help and instruction and refreshment, and not of tasking.
I realise I am opening a can of worms here – one that I am not qualified to tackle! I can’t really take you through a detailed theology of the Sabbath. I do know that there is a lot to explore around the subject! For example: How rest features in the creation account, the unending 7th day of rest, the Hebrew 3-4 idea of entering God’s rest and then the idea of looking forward to the day when Jesus calls us into his new creation to enter his rest. Jesus’ treatment of the commands re the Sabbath in comparison to the way he reiterates and handles the other 9, not to mention his regular challenging of the way it had wrongly become a rule fuelled rod to beat people with….
And yet, can of worms wriggling away to one side, would we be wise to take a day of rest? To feast on the Lord, and stop trying to run things for a few hours? I think the answer is probably yes. So what needs to go from my weekly/monthly/yearly lists to make room for some of those not to-dos to get done on other days – well that’s another can of worms!