Sunday, April 17, 2011

Remember the Sabbath...

You might expect a post from the wife of a pastor, when she's being serious (which she generally tries to avoid), to perhaps advise, counsel, instruct or maybe suggest how to handle certain situations, events, or circumstances in a "proper Christian manner".

Well, friends, that's NOT gonna happen here. Doing so would imply that I HAVE A CLUE about how to handle certain situations, events, or circumstances when in fact (and as you will soon see) I HAVEN'T A CLUE most of the time.

Sure, sometimes, I remember to consult my Bible and to gain some guidance on a matter and get much direction therein. Other times I run to the Word to sooth my jittery soul after I've messed up royally. Still other instances exist when I know what Scripture says regarding a particular matter (and I even know where to find it in my Bible)  and frankly I choose to ignore it completely. This is never a good plan...take last Sunday for example...

After a very full weekend at church, spending time with friends and receiving excellent instruction from visiting speakers, I awoke at 7 o'clock on Sunday morning feeling like it would be wise to don my cross trainers instead of my Mary Jane's. I performed my usual style and fluff routine and then woke the kids. I'd prepared muffins a day or so earlier so that I'd have a breakfast I could hurl toward their bleary-eyed bed-rumpled heads without slowing my pace. While they ate, I headed to the basement and heated "Old Faithful" and began ironing two dresses, two shirts, and a pair of khaki pants.

We made it to church with a few minutes to spare and I set up my post in the nursery for the day. I'd arranged to pull a "double shift" with the babies so that I could wear more comfortable and less er...confining clothing than I usually do on Sundays. During my shift, a tired Molly was delivered to me no fewer than three times from her various places of learning and playing because of an inability to deal with life.  She was, as they say in the south, "flat exhausted" from the weekend and was refusing to join the stream of things peacefully. Each time, I calmed her as best as I could and sent her back to join the rest of her crew.

After worship service ended, I rushed upstairs and handed Molly to the dear soul who was to look after her for the rest of the day, handed car keys to Meg who was off like a shot to get a change of clothes for she and Kate. While waiting for her, I found my son who had just finished a successful change into his baseball get up and was ready for the next chapter in his day.

After collecting a freshly changed Meg and Kate from the church's restroom, we piled into the car, waved cheerily to our church family, and we left them in the dust.

Our first stop was to drop Cole at his scrimmage across town.  Happily this day, unlike the day before, we had him in the correct uniform and only arrived about 45 minutes behind schedule...(long winded preachers, what are you gonna do??).  I stopped to tell the coach's wife that I would return in a while to watch the game but that I had to drop my daughters off elsewhere.  She nodded understandingly and I was off once more.

Next, Meg and Kate were chauffeured to a neighboring town's Pizza Hut for the much awaited princess birthday party of a royal friend.  I explained to the hosting parents that I had to run but would return in a while because my son was currently playing in a ball game.  They nodded understandingly and again, I was off.

On my way back into town, I stopped and spent a minute with my Man as he grabbed a bite to eat at our usual after-church venue where we usually relax with friends over pizza and leisurely conversation.  I hurried my Man through his lunch and explained to our friends that we had to go because our kids were...yada yada yada. They nodded understandingly, and I was off with my man following behind in a seperate vehicle to the ball field to watch Cole in action.

We parked our respective cars and were walking toward the field just in time to see the two teams line up to shake hands, marking the end of the game. We asked Cole for a play-by-play of the game, which he was happy to relate, and loaded him into the family van. We told my Man "Bye!" as he was headed to a town 30 minutes away for a multi-church gathering that was set to begin in approximately 30 minutes.

I dropped Cole at home for food and a shower, and headed back to the next town to pick up the girls. I arrived in time to tell them to thank their host and hostess and to take them home again.  The entire time I was driving too and fro, I was attempting to listen to the sermon I'd messed earlier that morning which I downloaded onto my iPod when I'd made a quick stop at home for a change of clothes. I finally got to finish listening to it after I called the kind soul who had Molly to check on them.  Molly was sleeping and I was a bit jealous.  I decided to take a little rest myself, but I had to hurry because Kate had softball practice in an hour and I had to help her practice throwing the ball so that she'd stop throwing it like a girl.

I kept telling everyone, "It's not supposed to be this way, you know?? Not on SUNDAY!" This is one of those things the Bible is pretty specific about. This is one of those things that is WELL covered in Scripture.  This is one of those things that has its own COMMANDMENT, the fourth one to be specific: Exodus 20:8 exhorts, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."

I think it a bit odd when I read that fourth commandment that I'm being warned ahead of time to remember something. We are usually told to remember something that has already happened.  Yet it says, remember the Sabbath day. Perhaps God knew what my last Sunday was going to look like and wants me to remember it well.  Oh, I remember it alright. To my mind, the one that is still recovering from last Sunday and all of its fallout, "Remember the Sabbath" sounds much like "Remember the Alamo!", the battle cry used by Sam Houston to bring to memory the Texan defeat at the hands of Mexican forces. Houston wanted to remind his soldiers of earlier defeat, to inspire them to future victory. I'd like "Remember the Sabbath!!" to make my heart beat toward a future victory as well!
"Remember the Sabbath!"
Translation: "Gretchen, remember the mess that was last Sunday. Remember how you got into such a crazy overcommitted schedule. Remember how tired and cranky your family was on Monday...and Tuesday...and...Remember what it's supposed to be. Remember what it's NOT supposed to be.

...Don't forget to remember... so that you can keep it holy."

1 comment:

G'ma suz said...

Wish Sam & I could be there to provide some much needed ammunition (extra vehicle and a very large diet Pepsi). Love and comfort, Mom

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