Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
It’s Sunday morning and I am sitting in my chair, nursing a cup of coffee, and waiting for the day to catch up and join me. I put the music on that I listen to when I write sermons during the week and then pray them back to God on Sunday mornings. Nette is still asleep and Bella the Wonder dog is curled up on the rug at me feet.
As I reflect on this routine, I thought of yesterday—Saturday. Lynette and I eat breakfast together and I read a book and she looks at Facebook for an hour or so in the morning. We talk about our coming day and make it a day of errands that are not burdensome. They are not heavy chores because we enjoy doing them together. We reward ourselves with a lunch at our favorite sandwich shop. We often talk about going to a movie, but never do. We usually end up at Costco.
Saturday is my favorite day of the week by ten. And the reason is subtle and simple. It is the steady, predictable rhythms of ritual with someone I love that makes the other days tolerable. I enjoy Saturdays because I get to cease the striving of the week and relax in the presence of someone who loves me no matter how unproductive or accomplished I was the previous week. On Saturdays we rest in the soft presence of our “old love.”
I realize it sounds sappy to the less sentimental, but I can’t tell you in strong enough language how deeply the restoration these unhurried moments have upon my soul. We drive from errand to errand with NPR on the radio; listening to Radio Lab and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me —and she holds my hand. We sit in the car in the parking lot of a store waiting for a segment to end. There is nothing hurried and rushed about our Saturday. And all of the failure of the previous week and the anxieties of the coming week are suspended in a Saturday stasis.
We have earned this oasis of rest. We have raised our kids and given them to the world. We have found our way into this repose together through decades of moving in the same direction. We have ceased striving to achieve and have transitioned into a relaxed state of being when it comes to our weekly vocations. It is a better place. Every mundane task is transformed into a light-hearted step in dance we have created. And no one hears the music but two old lovers who have determined to delight in each other’s presence.
Recently we have added and element to our Saturdays. I suspect it has been there all along but we are just now bringing it to conscience awareness. We are inviting God to be present in all that we do on Saturday. We have determined to do all of our silly rituals, errands, and radio shows in the invited presence of the Lord of Rest. We are finding delight in this triune dance. We sense Him riding with us, enjoying our sub sandwiches, laughing along with us as we listen to our shows, and we feel him in the room as we close our eyes at the end of the day.
We light a candle and let it represent the presence of the Lord and remind us that we are living the With-God life every moment of every day and yet on Sabbath we celebrate Him, and let Him illumine our day.
In this hurried and harried culture let two old lovers testify to you that we have found delight and take great comfort in ritual. This ancient practice has helped souls of yesterday find their way home—into the bosom of God. Perhaps it can guide you too.
My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. Exodus 33:14