Remember when you had a nice meal with the family every Sunday evening?
It's been a long time for me. I don't remember the last time - prior to my moving away from home - my family had a dinner like that on Sunday.
I do remember my Sunday routine as a girl.... getting up in the morning (Mom giving me wake up calls several times), cinnamon rolls for breakfast (once the savory scent of those buns wafted to my bedroom I'd finally roll outta bed, haha), gathering necessary things for church (my Bible and something to do during the dreaded sermons), Dad making desperate attempts to round up the family to get us on our way to church without being too terribly late, giggling in the pews, Grandma's super stash of candies and her readiness to accept the wrappers with a smile, Dad throwing me and my brother's the "brain duster" stare if we started to get too rowdy during service, waiting for what seemed eons after the service concluding because Mom and Dad had to say hello to nearly everyone, then - my favorite part of the day - lunch at Taco Bell! We'd place a big order, drive home, and gab about the day while chomping on our tacos. I remember thinking how manly Dad was because he could eat so many burritos. After lunch we'd attend to the chores, then it was nap time; I never cared for either activity very much. In the evening my brother's and I would play outside before it got dark. I remember poking holes in glass jar tops for catching lightening bugs in the flowered hedges between our house and AJ's grandparent's house. When Mom would call us in we'd argue, claiming there was still enough light, but eventually she'd win and we'd have to get ready for bed (that was the worst). Eventually my parents, brothers and I would say a prayer, and I'd make it to bed, but always with a book in hand (I've always been a reader).
And that's what I remember most about Sundays when I was a child. It seems so long ago. I just pulled out memories I've not touched in over a decade... wow. I had a really wonderful childhood. I'm so blessed to have such a loving family.
Back to Sunday dinners. You may have noticed that I didn't mention a Sunday dinner, but more of a Sunday lunch. I'd say that counts. It was a meal which we shared together, the five of us, and we reflected on the day's lesson, the last week and discussed the up-coming one.
Right now Discovery Church is doing a series on the Ten Commandments. I haven't studied the Ten Commandments since my days at the Nazarene in Fairfield, Ohio. There were tons of fun children's programs to help us learn the Commandments, but since elementary school I haven't really thought about them. Maybe some during Sunday School at East Side in Anderson, but that was only up to middle school.
If you're not familiar with them, or if you need a refresher, The Ten Commandments are God's law. The Hebrew word for "law" is "Towrah;" instruction, teaching, guidance, law. David Loveless, the pastor, explained that "towrah" translates to the guidance provided by the fletching on an arrow.
Today David discussed The Fourth Commandment.
Exodus 20:8-11 : (8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
God's intentions for The Sabbath (Sunday, Shabbat, Day of Rest, Seventh Day - it's all the same). This day is meant for rest. It is a break from the rest of the week's labor. It is a day to reflect, a day to honor the Lord.
I've always considered the weekend a great time of the week to knock out errands, but even through the work week I will run errands. Today I stopped doing procrastinated activities (that's typically what errands mature to be for me) on Sundays. For instance, I had some dresses to exchange for a smaller size at JC Penny' (they've been hanging in my car for a couple weeks now). I needed to pick up a prescription receipt at Walgreen's (on my list for almost 2 months). I needed to - you get the idea. But instead, I am taking the time to share something I learned about God with whomever so happens to read this blog entry. This is the first thing David pointed out about Sundays: we need to take a break from the rest of the week.
The second thing David pointed out was that Sunday is meant for emotional rest in addition to physical rest. This thought had never occurred to me! How interesting to take a day of emotional rest. At the end of the sermon David gave the congregation a few moments to unload our burdens and hand them over to God. Here are a few of the things that I've been lugging around emotionally lately that I turned over to God:
*money (saving, bills, debt, student loans kicking in next month)
*social situation (relatively new in the area, learning about how I develop friendships with people in different areas of my life; i.e., colleagues, neighbors, etc.)
*contacts (I'm out of contacts, Walmart is out of stock, and I've been stuck wearing my glasses for the last week; I've been doing well with being patient, but it's still frustrating because I also haven't ran in the last week because I don't like to run with my glasses/without my contacts)
*Ashes (my cat has been knocking the waste paper basket over, being noisy in the 15-minute window before my alarm is set to go off, waking me up in the middle of the night - he's been getting under my skin lately)
*books (I ordered some novels online last Tuesday and I had my hopes up that I'd receive them by Friday; they're still not in)
All of these things have been beating me down emotionally as I've been trudging through the week(s) with them on my back. God is awesome because he commands us to lay these burdens down at his feet. I think life becomes complicated when we lose sight of our being a part of God's plan, not the other way around. In His wisdom God placed Sunday in our week and commands us to rest so we could take a breather and refocus.