One of my favorite people in the whole world asked me, “why aren’t there more articles in your God Stuff category?”…to which I replied, “uh…well…bahdunno”.
The easy, and less convicting, answer is that “God Stuff” was a category that I created when I started the blog a few months ago and forgot was there. (Indeed, I did go back and retroactively reassign some articles to God Stuff.)
However, the more difficult (and more honest) response is that maybe there hasn’t been enough God Stuff in my life these past few months. This is not to say that I’ve been a practicing athiest in 2008…the disciplines of faith remain a part of my weekly ritual – prayer, study, worship, giving offerings, etc. Perhaps it’s time to do like Emeril and “kick it up a notch”.
For starters – the 3rd commandment – it’s time to start honoring the Sabbath day to keep it holy. This seems like a simple one, but for church workers, the Sabbath day is NOT Sunday. Those of us who try to be “balanced” ministers take a different day of rest during the week. Mine is Thursday. But we don’t call it a “day off” or “Sabbath” – we call it “Erik’s day out of the office”. The not-so-subtle implication being that Erik is still working…just not at church.
But why is that? In some respects, I feel odd about not working on a weekday. It’s strange that all of my friends are working…and I’m “out of the office”. Another part is that Thursday is my day with the kids while Allison is at work, which, though joyful, doesn’t allow for much rest. And, of course, a huge part is my own need to be around the church and doing church stuff ALL OF THE TIME! I blame it on genetics.
If I’m going to start with my renewed commitment to God Stuff with a greater focus on the Sabbath day, perhaps I need to figure out what that day is really supposed to be for. Whether I like it or not, it is no more feesible for me to spend the day laying prostrate in my room than it is for the Cubs to start winning meaningful games in the postseason. It just ain’t happening. So what can I do?
Here’s the Erik Ullestad Sabbath Plan*
- Pray each hour – even if only for a minute or two
- Read Scripture for personal devotion and reflection
- Take 30 minutes to disengage from everything
- Refuse to check church email or make phone calls
It doesn’t sound that hard – but it will be for me. I hope this will help me find balance in my spiritual life, and cause me to reflect on all that God has done and continues to do.
* a work in progress