It was a beautiful morning… which led into a beautiful service… On Resurrection Sunday morning… which led into a wonderful time of fellowship around a table with friends and family. A perfect day of celebration, fellowship, reflection and rest… which was what I planned to do after coming home. The peaceful quiet of my home was too much to resist. I changed out of my suit, put on some comfortable clothes, stretched out on the bed and closed my eyes… feeling so good about the day and what we were celebrating on this special day.
Then it happened. My phone, which was on the nightstand next to me started making sounds… sounds of incoming text messages. I tried to ignore them… and dozed awhile longer… RING! RING! RING! Startled, I quickly sat up and grabbed the phone to see who was calling. Someone I had not heard from in a long time was calling me to borrow a few dollars to get something to eat. They had “forgotten” that it was Easter Sunday. Not wanting them to go hungry, I relented, put my jacket and shoes on, left the house and went to meet them. Returning home, I casually glanced at my phone and noticed several more text messages… most of them to do with planning for upcoming events and recording numbers for various promotions. PEOPLE WERE WORKING!!! ON A HOLIDAY!!!
My peaceful serenity had been violated. Not only were others working, but they had to include me. I did not want to engage them. Not today. It was a holiday. But apparently not anymore. The stresses of work began to take over my mind. My mind began to race. The pressures of the next event, the next week, my obligations, cluttered my thinking. I began to feel overwhelmed. Feeling like I was somehow shirking my “responsibilities” because I was still celebrating the holiday in my own way. I trudged off to the medicine cabinet in search of something to soothe an oncoming headache. The holiday was now over. It had ended way too soon.
What is it about our current “hustle culture,” that as soon as one event is over, we must push on to whatever is next? Now that the Easter Sunday Service is over, I must plan for whatever is next on my agenda and include my constituents. Really? It cannot wait until tomorrow? Not me. I refuse to be too connected. I value my family. I value my friends. I value the opportunity to “do no servile work”. My physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health depends on it. Taking control of my predicament, I determined to recover what was left of this holiday. I handed my phone to my wife, so she could hide it from me for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 😊
I think God was on to something when he instituted the Sabbath Day of rest. On these weekly sabbaths, God’s people were to stay in their homes… and REST. Period. Also, I notice that the phrase “no servile work” appears a dozen times in scripture, and it is connected with Holy Days (holidays). In the Hebrew, that means “no work of any kind.” Period. Yes, I know that we are not living in the Old Testament anymore, and that the Holy Spirit is now our “Rest.” However, the principle of disconnecting from daily tasks and allowing for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual rest is still important. Jesus Himself commanded His disciples to “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). I do believe if we do not “Come apart and rest”, we will simply “come apart”.
I challenge you, on a weekly basis, and especially during holidays, disconnect. Disconnect from work. Leave your phone in another part of the house. Go for a drive and leave your phone at home. Play a game with your kids. Spend time with your spouse. Disconnect from social media. Resist the urge to text something related to work. Respect holiday observances. Respect others. Respect Your Creator. After all, it was His idea, not mine.