Breaking the Sabbath.

When I finally crawled into bed last night around 11 p.m., I looked at my to-do list from this week and started to panic.

So much still not done. So many obstacles the past two weeks that kept me from grading stacks of papers and planning lessons and keeping up with general household duties.

So I read through Ephesians 4 one more time–that was part of today’s Sunday School lesson, and it’s really quite lovely–but was preoccupied with thoughts of how I would possibly make it through this next week.

So I put Ephesians aside for a moment, looked at my list, and thought about Sunday.

My church has been pushing for a holier Sabbath Day observance as of late, and I don’t disagree with the push. A day to decompress and focus on spiritual life is necessary for balance. Yet here I was, faced with a volume of tasks that would weigh on me all week.

So I took a yellow notecard and made a new list.

I would wake up an hour earlier than normal and set about a round of work. I’d take a break to attend church and teach my Sunday School lesson, then come home and set about the remainder of the list. I made sure the list included time for breaks and time to prepare meals for the week. Every single task was in chronological order.

During the worship service this morning, I prayed for friends and family and I also prayed for help in accomplishing that list on the yellow notecard. I’m sure I sounded like I was rationalizing to God, as I reasoned that I would probably be a nicer, more patient, more Christlike person this week if these tasks were complete. I may have offered a plea bargain of sorts about future Sabbath Day observances. But I needed to grade papers, make meals, tidy my space, and I knew I couldn’t do it without some Divine Intervention.

In the six hours since I’ve returned from church, I’ve had a laser focus, and I’m down to two items left on my list: a quick session of yoga and 6 more papers to grade. (And blogging wasn’t even on the list.)

To pharisaical purists, I spent today breaking the Sabbath in a million different ways. But today I netted one more piece of evidence that God hears and answers prayers.

Not a bad way to spend the Sabbath after all.

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