“Start with an Hour”
Sadie Stratton Wohlfahrt, Minister to Children and Families
In my previous blog, we explored the biblical concept of Sabbath, and its importance in our rhythm of life, to our fruitfulness, and to our personal relationship with God. Now we get to the nitty-gritty: how do we make it happen? How do we regularly rest and abide?
Almost every person to whom I teach about Sabbath, reacts with “You’re crazy.” If our lives are centered on being productive, rest is not usually in our vocabulary. And resting for a whole day sounds completely insane.
So don’t start with a whole day. Start with one hour. Pick an hour each week, and set it aside. Plan it first, and plan everything else around it. I started with one yoga class on Friday mornings. Just one hour that my phone wasn’t going off right next to me, and that I wasn’t actively working on anything other than my own spirituality, my own breathing, and my own prayers. Over the past three years, I have grown that one hour into a whole morning and sometimes the whole day. I don’t answer work email, I don’t go into my office, I don’t make work calls. (Usually. Of course, there are exceptions and God understands those.)
Please make note: I said three years. Not weeks, not months. It literally took me years to change my work/rest rhythm. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient with yourself. But start somewhere. Maybe it’s lunch on Tuesday, or Thursday evening after the kids go to bed. Sabbath doesn’t have to be Sunday (for many of us, it won’t ever be) and it doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. It has to look like yours. Imagine recharging. Picture it in your mind. Start to shape it. What does it look like to you? What are you doing? What are you not doing?
I find that I am much more productive, much more fruitful, and much more intentional during my workweek if I have started from a place of stillness. When I take time away on Friday, I am ready to be what I need to be on Sunday. In my moments of stillness, God speaks and I listen. God places certain people on my heart and particular missions on my mind. From these, I know who I am supposed to connect with and which projects I am supposed to be working on that week. In a society that will pull us 18 different directions if we let it, it is crucial to have the one true voice in our ear.
It may still seem impossible. Let’s talk about that. If you are reconsidering your weekly rhythm and need some guidance, get in touch with me. I’d love to help you. Let’s be creative. Let’s try a couple different things to see what works. God placed you in a community, so that we can learn from one another. Let’s do that!
Grace. Grace. Grace,