"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Screamin' Dishes

They seem to scream at me from the kitchen. The pile of breakfast dishes in my kitchen yell, "Clean me!", as I pass by and peek into that dreaded room!

Will I respond to them? Will I be enticed by my own desire for order? Will I buckle to the pressure of the "Northern-European goddess of cleanliness and organization"? (as one author puts it)

Long ago we made a house rule that no work would be done on Sunday. ...a real, live Sabbath is what we were going for. A day of rest from work. A day for fun. A day for quiet and reflection. A day that would look different from the rest.

And, for me, that would be a day to...leave the sink, the laundry, and the dog hair on the floor. For me this day means I must leave the dishes and the ordering, cleaning, and picking-up. And, I rest. I read. I sleep. I write. I visit with good friends. I play with my kids. I take a walk and watch a video.

Sounds great in theory, right?

But, in actuality, it is tough for me. Really tough.

I imagine it wasn't terribly easy for Ruth, Mary, or Sarah, to leave the dishes. Even if Sarah had her housemaids, she wasn't allowed, according to God's law, to let her servants wash the dishes either. So, I can't just pass it off on my husband or my children. The dishes just get left.

They sit there and scream at me!

I like to get things done and check off the list. I am a task-oriented person. Order, clean and organization are a high value for me. So, dishes in a sink, laundry on the floor and an un-vacuumed carpet can be quite stressful.

It certainly makes this day "holy" or set-apart from the others! ...and that is what we are going for. ...and this is why it pushes and challenges me.

It pushes on my trust issues. Will I have the time, energy, brain-capacity to handle the double-work on Monday? Can I trust God's wisdom in giving us a Sabbath? ...wouldn't it be just easier to do today's work today? ...not leaving it for tomorrow? Can I trust that He had my best in mind when He says, "no work!". I know that these laws are based in His character of righteousness, holiness and LOVE. Can I trust His love in this?

I think I would rather just spend the extra 20 minutes and clean my kitchen.

Thus, we made the house rule...

Because, simply put, God does know best. And, this is His command. Not a law I MUST obey, I live under grace; but, certainly a law that He holds dear. Father God offers us rest in the Sabbath. He offers us trust that He will provide. He asks us for a day that is different from the others... set-apart, holy to Him.

So, today, I will let them scream. I will let them yell at me, greasy and piled high. And, I will leave them for tomorrow.

Do you know that every Monday, since beginning this particular Sabbath-journey, I have always had the time, the energy and the brain-capacity to get it all done. Those dishes are tomorrow's worries. ... I leave them there and focus on today.
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