The day after I come off the road is always a Sabbath – fancy Hebrew for “day off.” This here blog post is the only workish thing I’m doing today. Which is easy. It’s easy not to do anything. The hard part is not thinking about all the stuff I’m not doing and all the people I’m inconveniencing and just plain irritating by doing all this not doing.
There’s an article I need to revise and turn in. Today.
There’s a garden that needs weeding. Today.
There’s an inbox containing over fifty messages I need to return. Today.
There are bloggers who want to travel to the Dominican Republic I need to get back to. Today.
There’s a song I’d like to finish. Today.
There’s an appointment or two I need to schedule. Today.
There are phone calls that are “urgent” and questions that will surely need answers “ASAP” and e-mails on their way with those little red exclamation marks beside them. Today.
Today is, after all, Tuesday for the rest of the world. And on Tuesdays most normal folk work. And that makes not working and not thinking about the consequences of my not working on others difficult.
Richard Foster, I think it is, explains better than I can that spiritual disciplines like resting build up spiritual muscles like dependence and humility. For me, taking a day off, on a Tuesday, reminds me that I’m not as important as I and others may sometimes think and that the world keeps turning when I take my hands off of it. But I’m my spiritual muscles are little flabby and slow to respond to exercise. I’m a little dense, slow to get the message, reluctant to relax. So, most weeks, I spend my Sabath oscillating between rest and anxiety. The hope is, over time, the ratio of rest to anxiety will improve. No such luck yet.
Maybe an apology will put me at ease: Dear World, sorry for not being here for you today, not answering your calls, or returning your e-mails or turning stuff in when you need it at the last minute. Nope, still feeling guilty.
Maybe it’s time flex the muscle that closes this laptop and go blow some bubbles, jump on Redneck Neighbor‘s trampoline and peg a five year-old with a water balloon. Not at the same time of course. That would be work. (Like stepping away from the laptop isn’t? Yea, right.)