It was actually my assignment to the PGs to each write a post about Freedom for the month of July. Mine was supposed to post this past Monday.
I had absolutely no idea what to write while it was an assignment. Generally I work best with deadlines and pressure situations, but man, it just wasn’t happening.
And then came Friday. Ahh, blessed Friday. My Sabbath.
Friday is a day of freedom for me because I protect it from work, external pressures or expectations, and even internal pressures or expectations (I have lots of those and they tend to be more fierce than the external ones). And now that our children are old enough to find their own way around the kitchen for breakfast (praise JESUS), Ben and I were able to just lay there and relax a bit longer this morning. No need to be at the office, nothing but some fun on the schedule. A true day of rest.
As I slowly made my way to the table I sat down with my coffee, ate some french toast from the freezer (thanks be to MomMom for thinking ahead with her baked goodness), my Bible, my journal, and my Lord.
- I do not really care about the giant bag of off-brand cheerios at the end of the table.
- I do not really care about the apparent disaster of off-brand honey bunches strewn across the tablecloth.
- I do not really care that this cheery yellow tablecloth is actually a wrinkled mess.
Because it’s Friday. And in Friday, there is freedom. Because it’s Sabbath. It’s rest. And in that, I find my peace. Because true rest, true freedom, is found in Christ. When I live and move and breathe and do everything as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23), then there is good, hard work to be done.
And then there is rest to be taken.
Someone in our church family recently found out that I mark my Fridays as “busy” or “taken” – basically, to any outside calendar, I am not available. When I mentioned that it’s marked off because it is my Sabbath, since Sunday is a work day for me, this friend thanked me for that little insight into ministry family life. It had never occurred to them. And today as I stared at this messy breakfast table, I wonder if it’s ever occurred to other people who ARE in vocational ministry.
- Do you rest?
- Do you have a real Sabbath?
- Do you find freedom from the hectic schedule and then expectations of others and self?
Look, any of us who have been in ministry for longer than about 7 days understand that sometimes there are busy seasons and you can go for long stretches with emergencies and on-call pastoral needs and events and STUFF before you realize that it’s been too long and your body (and family) is exhausted.
In another recent conversation, I chatted with friends that there is often an expectation that young moms (young dads seem to have a ‘pass’ from this particular criticism) are not possibly able to focus on their family and children while at the same time focusing on vocational ministry. Perhaps people think this impossible because they have forgotten, themselves, to Sabbath. They see the stuck-ness, the busy, but never the freedom.
Ahh, the freedom of Sabbath.
It’s when my Jesus clears my mind, like resetting the iPad when it stops working and I ask Ben for help and he always, always, always says, “Have you tried rebooting?”
Freedom is the ability to pause this blog about eight different times while various children come over for hugs, for conversation, for connection, for more cereal.
Freedom is a messy table on Friday.