A Sunday Off

Sabbath for pastors is weird. We work on Sundays. It's our job to make worship happen, or education, or some combination of the two, depending on our specific calls. We break the bread and pour the cup.

We work on Sundays.

I have colleagues who make it a point to worship at another church while on vacation. I like that idea. It gives a pastor a chance to see how others do things, and it provides the opportunity to simply worship. 

But I almost never do it.

Glee Those four Sundays a year or so, I really need a pajama day.

So today, I took one.

I watched videos with Snowman and LP — including Glee!

I did some knitting. We got a pizza for dinner.

I had a day of rest. 

(But I did pray first.)

If I Were Preaching, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sabbath

Something(s) At Which I Do Not Excel

Something at which I do not excel is resting.

This is a pity, since on the four point plan for people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis, #1 is Rest. The other three are Exercise, Medication and Positive Attitude. You really can't do #2 if you're having symptoms, or rather I can't if I'm having the symptoms I'm having right this minute, which seem to be particularly focused on my right knee and the ball of my right foot.

This leads me to another thing at which I do not excel, which is admitting it when the RA is getting the better of me. Truly, I've been very fortunate since the whole thing began in the spring of 2008, because ever since I got on medication, I've felt mostly pretty good and rarely has the disease caused significant, well, dis-ease. The summer of 2008 was tough, as I tried to adjust to the medication (see #3) and attempted to cultivate a positive attitude (#4) in the midst of all the fears natural to a person learning she has a chronic illness. 

But after a summer season of job searching and various stresses, my joints felt pretty craptastic, and I have been doing my utmost to rest this week. 

To achieve that I have to turn it into a Type A challenge. It's not enough to simply collapse into a little heap, as I like to say, but I must also declare it to be Heap Week. And then count off the days. And hold myself to a schedule of being mostly unscheduled. 

Something at which I do not excel is resting.

Maybe it's due to the influences of verses like these:

"Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." (Luke 12:35-40, NRSV, part of this week's gospel lesson)

Really, wouldn't they be inclined to make you hyper-vigilant? 

I said from the beginning that I feared having to sit quietly under a tree, just smelling the flowers, and I have been lucky, since that's my fear, that I've mostly been able to keep going, with a few modifications to my lifestyle. I've had to give up my love affair with the fourteen hour day. 

Yes, I really just wrote that. Those were my favorites, the days that began super early and went on well into the evening. Did they make me feel important? Necessary? Alive? I just know I thought I was thriving on them. 

But they're gone as a regular feature in my life, and I suspect that actually makes me a person who is more ready rather than less. 

I hope so.

Even though resting is something at which I do not excel.


Sabbath on a Monday

My usual Sabbath day is Friday. I reserve it for self-care, relaxing, reading, time with my husband, whatever feels necessary and good. I pick up phone calls if need be, but I try not to check church e-mail. I do not work on my sermon. Sometimes I don't even write, although writing falls under self-care for me fairly often.

This week I'm shifting my Sabbath day and spending Monday with my husband, who leaves early tomorrow for an out-of-town job that will last until Easter or thereabouts. We've been out for a walk with the dogs and have other happy plans mixed in with the needed errands and chores that are part of preparing to travel. Tonight, as we usually do on Friday, we'll go out to dinner.

I'll be back tomorrow with thoughts about the gospel for Lent 2A.