“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” – Exodus 20:8-10a
I married a workaholic. I knew how he was before I married him, and I know him well enough to know that he sees his tunnel-vision and determination as qualities that allow him to better take care of us. And he makes a good point.
In case we needed more ways to be polar opposites, I’m both a worrier and a procrastinator. I put things off way too long, but I mull them over in my anxious mind nonstop.
I was that kid—you know the one, maybe you have one, the one who looked sheepishly at her mother the night before a book report was due and said, “Hey, Mom, will you take me to Wal-Mart for poster board? And printer paper? And markers? And glue? Will you let me stay up past my bedtime to finish this thing I’ve known about for weeks but put off for just as long?” (Side note: I’m sorry, Mom.)
I put things off when I know I should do them and then my worrisome brain takes over and these things I put off are at the forefront of my mind until they’re taken care of, normally with some amount of frantic panicky energy and a really short temper.
In this day and age, workaholics are a special breed. They are dependable and accountable and successful, and above all they will get the job done. Being a procrastinator with an anxiety disorder isn’t so highly praised…or useful. But in reality, these are different names for the same thing, different ways that we make our to-do list more important than God’s plans.
Caleb and I rarely observe the Sabbath. We go to church on Sunday mornings and we have house church on Sunday nights, we worship and soak in fellowship and community, but we don’t normally do that whole rest thing very well. I mean, really, who has time to rest, right? Wrong. You do. I do. We do. And when we don’t take time to rest, we languish. We are breaking the rules for the sake of productivity.
Sundays aren’t easy “rest” days at our house; Caleb is up before the sun getting ready for the gathering at church, and I’m cleaning and planning and trying to make our little space as welcoming as I can for house church. And I feel like our efforts to keep things running behind the scenes are honored by God, who knows our hearts and good intentions. But that doesn’t let us off the hook for that whole “rest” commandment.
I’d like to invite you to turn off your phone, computer, and television. Snuggle with your husband, your kids, your cat. Get into the Bible and let your mind rest. He didn’t command that to slash productivity, but to leave us fully alive.
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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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