Rest on the Sabbath
Every year, it seems to go the exact same way. Just a few days before Ash Wednesday and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for Lent. I know that Lent is coming, I know that I need to take time to consider what changes to make in my life, and I still don’t give it the time it deserves. This year, I went with something really special.
I once heard a priest describe Lent as a beginning of a life change as opposed to 40 days without something. He suggested that we decide our Lenten sacrifices based on things that we wanted to change in our lives. So instead of giving up sweets, we would work on something enduring, something life-changing.
This year, I really tried to embrace that idea by giving up working on Sundays. My goal is to embrace the call to Honor the Sabbath.
For the past four years I’ve been working for the Boy Scouts of America. At the end of this month, I’ll be leaving the BSA to work on ChetComm, LLC (the media and publishing firm that’s behind Catholic Husband) and be full time caregiver to Benedict as Alison goes to work with her healing hands. Working for the Scouts is a pretty good job with flexible hours. So my schedule looked like this: Monday through Friday I blog in the early morning before work. Then for the rest of the day I go to work. I spend Saturday and Sunday working on cleaning and ChetComm business. There’s a fair amount of work to be done for ChetComm each week. I have blog post goals, book writing goals, social media planning, new product development, and strategic planning. All told, it’s several hours of intense work.
Before this Lent, it wasn’t too much of an issue since I had 48 hours each weekend to work on it. When I decided to give Sunday it’s proper place, I saw that time shrink. Incredibly, it’s been a great change! I’ve been able to more guiltlessly spend time with Alison and Benedict, I’ve been able to actually relax, and it’s given us the flexibility to go on weekend trips. I’ve noticed many other benefits.
- I’m more productive. When your available time window shrinks, you gain the ability to better focus. With just Saturday to work on cleaning and ChetComm, I’m more resilient to laziness.
- I’m less anxious. Sunday can be a double edge sword. It’s nice to have a slow day once a week, but it’s also dangerously close to Monday. That means that the dread of the week ahead and creep into your serenity. I’ve found that when Sunday is a designated family day, I’m less anxious about everything. The day ticking away doesn’t bother me. The unpleasant things that I have to do in the week ahead don’t bother me. I’m just totally present.
- I’m more relaxed. It’s almost as if God had a bigger purpose when He asked us to rest on Sundays. I’ve found that I’m more relaxed during the whole week. I know that if I keep working and pushing for a few more days, I’ll have the down time I need on Sunday. That’s a beautiful thing.
We’re called to not work on Sundays, yet it’s something that we haven’t put much of a priority on. Maybe it’s time we go back to basics.