My son looked over at me from the passenger seat, one knee hiked up to his chest. He’s in the habit of putting his socks and shoes on in the car on the way to school. Even when he isn’t running late, which is practically never. Then he says, “I think I forgot to brush my teeth” and proceeds to pull a stick of gum from the community package lying on the console in the car. And two words keep crawling through my mind like the ticker on the sidebar of Facebook: Teenagers and Ewwww.
The jury is still out on how many times you have to do something before it becomes a habit. My son is proof of that. Some say 16-21 times of repetition, others say thirty days will do the trick. Maybe for others it takes a lifetime.
We’ve walked out this pilgrimage of observing Sabbath for fourteen weeks now. And I wonder, has it become a habit?
Maybe the jury is still out on that one too but I’m fessing up. Here are 10 predictable habits about my Sabbath.
A little insight? Maybe.
Helpful? Probably not.
1) When the sun begins its descent on Saturday, I will light candles and call my family to the table to eat. We’ll devour the crockpot meal bubbling in the kitchen.Or I’ll answer the door to the man holding a cardboard box of pizza and scatter paper plates around the table.
2) I will probably watch a cheesy movie like the Notebook or Holiday for the millionth time. Because I’m so spiritual like that.
3) I might be the last one to crawl into bed because I’ve fallen asleep through the movie. No one has bothered to wake me up. I’m predictable, people.
4) I’ll rise on Saturday before everyone gets up, to read and pray and journal. I get up early because I don’t want my family to interrupt me. When they do, I’ll feel guilty about observing Sabbath. Sometimes the journaling turns into blog posts and then I’ll stop myself, because that feels more like work and I’ll move to #5.
5) I’ll pour myself a cup of tea. There is a good chance a pile of crusty dishes laid topsy-turvy in the sink. I won’t feel guilty about it. Really, I won’t.
6) At 9am I’ll stop #4 to crawl back in bed next to H. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a sacred time but not that. (Did you really think I might share that?) We watch the CBS Morning Show together and I’ll cry . . . at least twice. I’m a pushover for a good, redemptive story.
7) And then I’ll go back to reading. Right now I’m re-reading Wonderstruck, The Rest of God and enjoying Love Does for the first time (in case you were wondering).
8) At noon-ish, I’ll take a walk on the beach or in my neighborhood. I’ll invite my family to join me and they will all look at me, pause and collectively say, “No thank you.” Then I’ll take random pictures of turtles and weeds; get wonder-lost while meandering.
9) I’ll have to restrain myself from checking Facebook and emails. And realize how addicted I am to conversation. I’m the only extrovert in my house.
10) I’ll crawl into the car next to H just before 4pm, my kids seated in the back. We’ll drive to a borrowed chapel and worship with a community of saints. I’ll check my emails, comments and FB updates on the way home. Because the sun is about to go down, isn’t it?
I’ll stand at the sink, my hands in sudsy water and thank God for twenty four hours of bliss. And look forward to next week, so I can do it all over again.
But I won’t do any of that this week. I’m chaperoning my daughter’s first prom experience at a beach house. Sleep and rest will elude me. And God still lives in the room.
Have you acquired any habits for Sabbath?
Some inspired writing from our Wonderstruck book club this week:
If God Is So Good Then Why by Duane Scott
Living Wonderstruck When Nature Isn’t Pretty by Nancy Franson
When Jesus Wears a Blue Wal-Mart Vest by Alicia Bruxvroot
This Nest, These Birds by Kelly Chripczuk
Happy Sabbath Friends!