David Arscott reminds us of God’s plan to build weekly rest into our routine. If there are some things we only associate with our annual holiday we need to think again…
Imagine a day free from:
Having to get things done. Being able to pick up on time for yourself, friendships, family conversations, hobbies, reading, contemplation.
Travelling. Being able to enjoy what is local, what we can walk to or get to easily in our street or neighbourhood. Those things we rush past during our busy days and think, I’d love to go there sometime…
Being away from home Being able to explore again and enjoy the place we live in, to relish it. Perhaps look out of the window or into our thoughts. To pick up on those things that make our living space a home.
Worrying about spending. Being able to focus on what is free and what we already have. To pick up neglected possessions and enjoy them again, maybe rummage out some forgotten clothes, books, DVDs, games, sports equipment, look on the iplayer for tv and radio programmes. Maybe leisurely cooking from the basic ingredients we already have.
The rush of life. Being able to give time to one or two things so that when the working week recommences we have something precious to look back on. Being able to face another hectic week from a day a calm.
These are things we often save up for our holidays. For me the true sign of being on holiday it is getting out my art materials from where they were put away last summer and making new pictures. But God does not mean me to wait a whole year. He gave us a weekly holiday.
Sundays were made for us. God knows what we are like, that we are full of good intentions but …So He gave us clear commands about not spending money, not travelling, avoiding work. He wants our Sundays to be weekly holidays, real holy days, set apart as special. Jesus said ‘Look at the birds of the air. They don’t fret about working but your heavenly Father looks after them. How much more will He look after you?’ I know I have six days to rush about and try get everything done. I have to accept that I usually won’t and now I don’t waste Sunday trying to catch up. God knows we need a rest. As I honour Him and put Him first by being trying to be obedient I am finding He tends to take care of things. All those seemingly vital tasks will still be there on Monday but Sunday will not come around again for seven days. I find once I get into the pattern of Sundays as real days off I am always looking forward to the next one and planning things to enjoy. But none of them have to be done. If I find they are feeling like chores and I am not enjoying them I stop. I know I there will be another Sunday just next week. Thank God for Sundays!
David Arscott is a Community Mission Advisor for Livability and is based in Leeds.