Technically, autumn (fall) doesn’t start for almost three weeks. But, at least around here, school is starting back up this week and my wife and I are nearly over our “Where did it go?” shock and are starting to settle back into our normal routine that applies to all of the months outside of summer and the Thanksgiving through New Year’s stretch. So, I thought I would post an update to my June 9th “Summer Sabbath” plan.
The idea was to treat this summer as a sabbath season. My thought was that both the Sabbath and summer are already similar in the way that they are meant for rest in the sense of relaxation, connection and renewal. So, I wanted to spend this summer intentionally slowing things down and making it a season of connecting with family and friends, growing closer to the Lord, and recharging my proverbial batteries. I was encouraging others to do the same in the hopes that, by the time autumn rolled around, we would feel more prepared to tackle the rest of life than we had in years and, perhaps, we would decide that a reasonable amount of Sabbath should be part of our lives seven days a week and three hundred sixty-five days a year.
Well, here’s the update. I did spend a lot of time with family and friends this summer and it was wonderful. I also feel like I continued to grow closer to the Lord over the season. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that I failed miserably on the “slow down” portion of my goal. In fact, summer is always a season when my wife and I get a lot of exercise and we barely had time for that. This summer was so packed, so full . . . I guess that’s why we feel like we practically blinked and missed it. It’s nice that it was full of so many lovely things but, I do regret not slowing things down a bit more. Quite a bit more.
Looking back on it, I think one of the main things that crowded the calendar, is that my wife and I both have trouble saying no to things. We need to give ourselves permission to say no even if we don’t have a good excuse. We don’t lie, which makes saying no a little more difficult than it is for some people. If they don’t have an excuse, they just make one up. We won’t do that. But, we need to learn to say no just because it’s the healthy thing to do for us. That’s okay. That’s actually all the excuse we should need.
Maybe next year. In the meantime, practice makes perfect. We’ll try our hand at saying no a little more often. And, as far as the general Sabbath idea, we still have Sundays . . .