I was sitting in church this Sunday and the minister was sharing a Bible story. Jesus had healed a woman of a longtime ailment, and while you’d expect everyone to be super happy…. one of the Temple leaders, who was looking to criticize Jesus, pointed out that this wonderful healing was done on the Sabbath. And the Sabbath was a day set aside for honoring God….and not for work. This leader claimed that Jesus was way out of line by doing the “work” of healing on the Sabbath.
Now of course, Jesus did not mince words and he responded with something along the lines of “Have you all lost your gosh-darn minds?”…… (No “god-damns” or even “god-darns” for Jesus……after all, he knew the Commandments!)
The minister went on to talk about our modern world…..our hectic and over-scheduled and frenetic world….and how many of us have to do some type of work on Sunday. Some of us work at our jobs, and some of us mow our lawns. And ultimately, it can be hard to set aside a day or even part of a day to do the important things….things like spending family time, or finding quiet time to reflect, or in the true Sabbath tradition, time for honoring God.
But the minister challenged the congregation to “make their own Sabbath” if necessary and to find a way to make the time.
I glanced over at the papers sitting on the pew seat alongside me. On the back of a printed scripture reading, I had scribbled a to-do list of chores that I hoped to accomplish later in the day and I had also jotted down a grocery list. Looking at my own handwriting, I realized, shamefully, that I had penned those lists while the minister was making announcements ….during the service. This sermon seemed directed right at me!
Now, Joe and I do work a lot, and we also run ragged with chores and errands almost everyday, Sundays included.
So I asked myself, did I really need to go grocery shopping….today? And did I really need to register Jake for tennis or pay bills…..today?
So I didn’t. Instead,I decided to spend some time outside, enjoying nature. I sat and took it all in for awhile and then I spent some time sanding some wood pieces for a RoofTop coaster project (more of an enjoyable hobby – not really work).
And while I sanded, I watched a stunning black and yellow butterfly circle about… and I felt the nice summer breeze….and I watch my funny and kind husband throwing a frisbee to my sweet dog Chalie. And I felt happy that I was taking time to appreciating my life and in the spirit of the minister’s message, I was also appreciating God’s creatures.
And then I saw a very small and strange looking spider climbing on the garage wall, near my belt sander. Without my reading glasses, I couldn’t really see it in detail so I called Joe over.
“I think it’s a baby wolf spider,” Joe said. “You know the hairy ones with the big mouth parts?…Did you know that they jump at you if they feel threatened?” I answered by widening my eyes in horror. Joe grabbed a twig, saying he would try to relocate the creature.
“Don’t touch it,” I yelled. Joe continued forward. “I SAID DON’T TOUCH IT!” This time my yell was a bit louder than I had intended.
Okay, enough of appreciating God’s creations for one day! I figured I’d done my part of honoring the Sabbath and maybe I’d finish my Sabbath by watching TV …errrr…..and maybe paying some bills after all.
Joe flipped through the channels. And without any input from me, he stopped on the film Evan Almighty, a family comedy based around the Old Testament Noah and the Ark story. And my 14 year old son, who doesn’t watch much TV with us, came into the living room unprompted and uninvited and sat with us. And I did not pay bills. Instead, we watched a modern take on a Bible story…. and we laughed and we enjoyed each others company……
My dear friend Nancy, who is an awesome photographer, took this photo. She has an real eye for God’s creatures!….. No creepy spider photos so far….thank goodness!