gardening, spiritual life

Some sabbath whoo-hoo

“God never asked us to meet life’s pressures and demands on our own terms or by relying upon our own strength. Nor did He demand that we win His favor by assembling an impressive portfolio of good deeds. Instead, He invites us to enter His rest.” Chuck Swindoll, American pastor and author

I know exactly when I began observing a sabbath of sorts. I was a junior in college and, by an incredible stroke of bad timing, I had 300 pages of term papers and abstracts due in one semester. One semester. CIMG5768_edited-1.JPG

There was clearly a choice to be made. I could meet this tally by working like a maniac just all the time. Or, I could keep myself fired up to work like a maniac six days a week by taking every single Saturday off to do “things.” Things like dating, hiking, eating out, consuming entire bags of chips and tubs of onion dip with my roommates, horseback riding, searching for geodes on the edge of a lake. And just on and on.

You can guess what I did, discovered that I absolutely love and still do to this day.

I couldn’t help think of the start of my toil-free, guilt-free Saturdays this weekend, when my husband and I spent a couple hours completing our garden shut down. He mowed one last time, cut down the annual growth of a vine that is fence-destroying if it is not so heavily pruned, dug up the glad bulbs (pictured above), raised the porch swing into the rafters. I removed or neatened all signs of the plant life that remained — except for the seed-bearing specimens that cause our birds to twitter with pleasure.

Were we working this sabbath? Technically, yes. But, it was really more an end-of-the-season whoo-hoo — a connection to where we are in time and to each other. A tidying of the garden so that it will wear its coat of brown and yellow and snow with beauty. It’s true. All winter, we will be able to look out the back windows with pleasure and the calmness that comes with knowing there is nothing to be done.

Nothing to be done. Isn’t that what God had in mind when He came up with the idea of a day of rest? Work, work, work, work, work, work, rest. Take it too far, and you get religious rigidity of the kind that roiled the crowds around Jesus. Take it for what God intended — a gift to humankind — and it’s a blessing and a joy.

So, whether it’s your garden, your soul, your body or just your smart phone, consider taking time now to plan a breather as a closure to this week. You might enjoy it so much you won’t be able to stop.

6 thoughts on “Some sabbath whoo-hoo”

  1. We haven’t finished prepping our garden for winter yet. My husband has been raking leaves, more leaves, and yet more leaves 🍂🍁. I need to trim back our rose bushes. Working in the garden is wonderful – last summer it helped me go through a rough patch. I think God meant us to connect with nature (his creation too) on a regular basis.
    Nice post, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, your English is flawless and my French is terrible. 🙂 I suspect raking and other labors like kneading bread and washing dishes are good for the mind, body and spirit. It’s hard to be angsty or angry when you’re working that hard. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure about flawless… Sometimes I use the wrong word or expression and make my American husband roll on the floor laughing! I fell in love with the English language a long time ago, when I was 10 years old and starting 6th grade. So it’s been several decades of practice 😊.

        Liked by 1 person

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