Many people upon discovering that i adore the Sabbath have many questions. They can be summed up in one:
What exactly does that mean, Sabbath?
I have been excited to tell this story, I’ve been waiting for the right moment. I suppose this is it!
I have been completely transformed by the Sabbath. Taking a Sabbath has literally carved my path. The Sabbath is one of the cornerstones of my faith, if you removed it from me I am sure part of my house would collapse.
I want to explain why it’s so crucial to my life. I want to clear up what I have found to be common misunderstandings of the Sabbath and how it applies to modern day Christianity.
First I want to stress that i do not in ANY way think that the Sabbath is mandatory for salvation or relationship with Jesus. At some point in your personal relationship you may feel that your being called to a more intimate understanding, but may be unsure of what that looks like. I would recommend you take a wack at a Sabbath.
I was first challenged to take a Sabbath by my pastor Garrett Prechtl in steamboat.
I’m sure my face scrunched up and my brain instantly shut down. But after several people mentioned it that same week, I started to become curious. God wanted a closeness with me that i couldn’t comprehend at the time.
I decided that Sunday seemed like a good Sabbathish day. On Saturday the day before I cleaned my room making sure I removed all the distractions that would keep me from being at rest in my mind. I folded cloths, put away all craft projects, and went to sleep…. oddly excited. Why am I excited? What am I excited for? To spend a whole day alone in my room??
Early morning, first sun peaking through the window. A type of glee in the air… is that my happiness? It feels like in energy in a room right before loved ones jump out and yell “surprise! Happy birthday! We love you!” I could not help but smile while I stretched all my limbs still laying down. An image of a child waking me up on Christmas morning, overwhelmed at the excitement of the day, came to my mind. I giggled. “I’m up, I’m up!” I said swinging my legs over the edge of the bed. I gathered myself on a stool and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now?” That was all I could think to say. “Oh, and good morning!”
Worship songs flooded my mind, which is usual for my morning brain. I stayed like a prayer but sang, I let the songs mash together, singing whatever tune came to mind the moment to came not carrying where the last song stopped or where I was starting in the next one. Only stopping when the tears dried up, which was a while. I had decided the day before, unknowing the Sabbath protocol, that it seemed that on a Sabbath you should ask God to bless every moment of your regular routine. The things we keep to ourselves the whole week, like our morning glass of water? The hot shower? Making the bed? So on and so on…. praying earnestly like that takes time, but today is God’s day. The time belongs to him this day and there is nothing more important to take my attention away, just this one day.
After an epic church worship and service I got into my car. I had almost pulled out of the parking space then thought, where am I going?
So I asked, “Lord, now what?”
Go to the groceries store.
Standing in the produce with a basket, my mind was whirling, arnt there things I’m not supposed to eat? Am I preparing food? I thought that was not okay???
I found my self drawn to the fruits, seeing only the one I was ment to take, one peach, one mango, one appel, small bag of grapes. Over to cheese- 2 small bricks from the discount bin one white one yellow, both oddly named nothing I would have pulled. Over to bread- one round rosemary garlic loaf. Last stop flowers. A beautiful display on sale, 3.99. Clearly they were on the last day of life every bloom had bloomed their fullest, tomorrow they would start their descent, today was just as much their day. Blossoming just at the right moment to fill my small room with the smell of fresh flowers and bright spots of colour.
Headed home. After the door shut and I filled a beautiful bowl with the fruit. Arranged the flowers and said yet again, “and now?”
Clean out your closet.
????? That’s not Sabbathish at all! Blasphemy!
I made my mind to be quite because clearly I was thinking for myself and said, ” Lord, please be louder than me.”
Clean out your closet!
I sat for a while refusing to clean out my closet. Then finally I conceded, God wants me to clean out my closet? Every drawer, every hanger?
Give that away.
“What? My fat jeans? What if I gain weight?”
Get rid of that too.
“What my goal jeans?! What if I lose weight!?”
All of these need to go.
“My back up jackets? Sure this one has a broken zipper and this one is stained but what about when I go camping?”
Go through your socks.
“Even my socks!?”
Every pair with holes. Every pair you move to get to the ones you usually wear.
…. wait whats this?? In the back of the drawer. Bought at a thrift store on the way to check out, almost a month before. Pure silk, bright white socks. Half price day, i paid $.25 and thought i may never wear these because i know they will be ruined after one step. But I remember thinking, who would get rid of these without even putting them on first??
I tucked the white socks away with the few pairs that remained and looked over my now mostly empty closet. 3 large bags for donating.
And found my self oddly free.
Because all your back up clothing offends me. I will provide for you from now on. You don’t need to rely on your own storage supply. I have my own supply for you.
In tears, almost gasping for air. I understood.
“And what would you have me do now, Lord?”
Wash your feet.
I didn’t argue. I went to my bathroom filled the tub with hot water. I sat on the edge and loved my own feet. When was the last time I loved my own feet? I scrubbed each toe with intent and after the drain sounded it’s farewell moan, I was free to ask again. “And now?”
Go get the socks.
Glee! YES! of course! Sliding my freshly tended feet into pure silk was like butter. I personal have never dipped my feet in butter, but I assume it’s similar. “Oh Lord! This is so… rich! I can’t believe you had hidden these socks away just for this moment! How beautiful is the web you weave for the ones who love you!”
Oh Teneil, I commissioned these for you. I called the name of every silk worm who made these socks for you.
I sat for a long time wrapping my head around that before I asked again, “kind Lord, what should I do now?”
I arranged the fruit and cheese on my bed after a grateful prayer I found myself lost in a sea of incredible food. Had I ever had a mango before? Surly, but the grapes are like sugar! The bread crisp and soft. “Lord, everything is so so good!”
That is because I am feeding you from my own table.
Drifting off to sleep only left me dreaming. Every week?! I get this every week?
And THAT is what Sabbath is.
It’s a day you surrender completely and lose nothing.
Ultimately it was on a Sabbath day that i was led to start #adayinthelifeofteneil, but that’s another story.