• October 21, 2014

Set aside a day each week to stop, thank God

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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2014 4:30 am

Now in my second decade as a Texan, I still find myself among the most grateful for our temperate weather. In my glee over this near-perpetual warmth, I’d almost forgotten the sweet surprise of snow days, or in our case this year, ice days.

We called them snow days — our ears were tuned in to the radio early in the morning then, we watch the cable streamer nowadays — and waited to hear if through God’s own hands, the routine of the week would just stop.

Recently in Central Texas, it did just that. Well, not completely. Most of us went to work, didn’t lose power and didn’t have our vehicles skid off the road.

Still, the quality of the day changed.

Things like driving, and even the schedule of the day became slower.

Nonessential things were left undone.

Icicles appeared on street signs and fences. As I drove home through the ice, I watched time itself seem to slow — as we all cut our speed. What a time.

Now don’t get me wrong — I do not wish to return to the land of too much ice and snow.

This magic of stopping for a day melts quickly when day after day after day becomes a frozen struggle.

But this winter, I am reminded of how we are refreshed in recognizing that occasionally, a day is different.

In our faith, we seek that day each week: it’s called the Sabbath.

Whatever day of the week you designate as your Sabbath is that day when you slow down — maybe even stop — and pay attention to the mystery and joy of God’s creation.

While I teach about Sabbath often, I know that I have to work on my own Sabbath discipline.

We are created for — and required to — honor Sabbath.

Yet like so many of us, I struggle with this, though I am trying harder to be obedient.

It’s so easy to be busy and so hard to stop.

Yet, that’s exactly what we are commanded to do: give a day to God — noticing and rejoicing in our very being within this creation.

Sabbath gives a day to recharge, renew, remember — and return to the image of our Creator.

By the time you read this, I expect warm temperatures in the area. And I expect icy days will be almost forgotten.

Yet, I hope some memory of stopping by necessity can be an encouragement for us to stop and take one day each week to do for ourselves what God did for us in those icy days.

During your Sabbath time, stop and stand in wonder — and give thanks. During your Sabbath time, do what you love — and breathe in the peace of God’s rest.

For when we get right down to it, Sabbath’s not an option. It’s the law.

The Rev. JANICE L. JONES is rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Killeen.

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