by Maggie Roth
Our Lenten journey is flying by quickly and I find myself somewhat surprised that we are merely two weeks away from Easter. My heart was slightly saddened to discover that we had only two Sundays left to observe the Sabbath, which is quite silly, really. We’ve got our whole lives to observe Sabbath, should we decide to do so.
Looking back, these past two weekends were the spiritual equivalent of opposite day. I’m summarizing them together because last week I skipped a blog post (apologies, my friends), but they really could not have been more different. Two Sundays ago we went to church, ate lunch at home and generally respected all our commitments. It was nice, it was relaxing, we felt prepared to start the week. This past weekend we celebrated our son’s baptism and our daughter’s birthday with our entire family in town. There was little rest and about as much activity as one can pack into a weekend. By the time everyone left on Monday morning we were all (extended family included) deeply in need of a Sabbath. A Monday morning Sabbath.
I found myself wondering what it would be like if our families also observed this practice. Right now, we feel like oddballs, trying to push out the world and huddle together. But if others were in on the game, would we have a sense of connectedness that extends beyond our family? I fully admit I’m big on community. I love a nice big community effort. In fact, one of the reasons I love presidential addresses/state of the union speeches so much is that I love the idea that everyone (okay, not everyone, but a TON of people) are all doing the same thing, we’re all sitting and listening to what our president has to say. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that everyone is at home, trying to embrace their families and find a bit of peace each Sunday?
I still am struggling to put into words how God is working through us. Because this is a well-organized group effort, there are lots of variables and individuals involved. It can be messy. I would like to be able to say that we’ve been taking time for family prayer, but we haven’t. We have taken commercialism out of our Sundays, but haven’t been so great about putting more God back in. I’m trying not to see this as a failure and, instead, acknowledge it as a weakness. I don’t know why, but we tend to pray at dinner and discuss what we’re grateful for that day, but that’s about it. We pray individually, but the group thing feels awkward. I know that we need to work on this together moving forward. It’s a major hole that needs patching.
They say it takes many weeks and even months of meditation before you begin to feel that stirring inside you. I guess I’m starting to realize that it may take the same type of dedication to feel the stirring within us. This is a journey not a small project. I hope we can be in for the long haul.