The Difference Between Leisure and Sabbath

Sometimes the line between leisure and Sabbath blurs, but this week it was crystal clear.


I started my Sabbath on Saturday evening, and I can sum up my attitude in one word — bummed. I ended up sitting in the car with my husband, crying my eyes out over everything on my plate. I lit my candle but did not even attempt to pray.


On Sunday I tried to go back to sleep, but nightmares started. I finally roused myself, grabbed my Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, and started in on the readings for the 4th Sunday in Epiphany. In short, God showed up. I went to early church by myself, and the family joined me for Sunday School. More Good News, this time from the Gospel of John. At 11 we went home, to lead a Bible study with one participant —  a single mom with few other options. I felt inadequate as always, but the Holy Spirit seemed to move in both our lives. After she left, I took a nap and a bike ride. If I listen to a sermon as I ride, does it count as worship? All I know is that Sunday (all of it) helped me to worship the God I had forgotten I love.


Fastforward to Monday. Sabbath was over. Time to work, right? Instead, my sweet husband surprised me by asking if I’d like to take the day off, partially to celebrate my recent birthday. The next eight hours were pure fun. We shopped, caught a fabulous rated R movie, and ate lunch in a neighboring town.


I love a day off as much as anyone, but Sabbath is different. Leisure was lovely on a spontaneous Monday, but Sundays are God’s day. Because I took one, I could truly enjoy the other.