Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath. I’m currently in the midst of finals. My life is this: I work Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning, study on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and up until recently I was having class on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday nights. I teach a Wednesday night class at church and I babysit on Friday and Saturday nights. I don’t take Sabbaths.
This, however, changed yesterday. I had to take a make-up test last Friday for a Church History test I had missed earlier in the semester when I went to Mexico. In class on Thursday night I had about three mini-anxiety attacks, and then a panic attack during the test on Friday. SO, I decided to take a Sabbath yesterday (Sunday).
It was supposed to be a day of rest. I got up early, listened to Exodus 1 and Acts 1 from the Bible Experience (I just got them on iTunes with my Christmas giftcard, they’re fantastic!), had breakfast and went to church. We had a baptism and it was totally great. I came home, had lunch, took a nap, listened to more Exodus, then I decided to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (my very favorite one). Then I took a walk and went to my friend’s house to hang out. I didn’t do any school work just for one day, and I felt so guilty the ENTIRE time because I wasn’t making productive use of my time studying for my finals.
See, I’m getting stressed out just THINKING about the study time that passed me by while I caught up on sleep I quite obviously needed, spent relaxing time with my sister watching Harry Potter and made yummy lentil stew.
I’m pretty sure at that point it’s not even worth taking a Sabbath. My body was at rest, but my mind was totally not. I’ve been thinking about the pressures I put on myself and I’ve also been thinking a lot about the sermon on the mount. Clarence Jordan wrote a really good book called Sermon on the Mount. I reviewed it for Ethics class. This all will tie in together in a minute, just go with me in all the different directions this post is going, ok?
Today, I went to the Land of 1000 Hills coffee shop on Roswell Road. When I lived over there I used to go there to study all the time. I do my most productive work there for some reason. Today, I couldn’t take studying in my house any more, so I went there and actually finished my leadership take-home final that’s due tomorrow. I had a cuban espresso and it was SO delicious.
Now, the tie in. As you know, I’ve given up eating out for the year, while maintaining my originally budgeted funds in the eating out category and just sending those funds to charities instead of myself. Today, I broke my eating out fast so I could study where I knew I’d get some good work done. At first, I felt really bad about taking money away from my charity of the month, Amanda and the World Race. BUT, as I was on a roll with my final, I started thinking about the Sermon on the Mount. (Maybe, but not entirely, because the last time I was at Land of 100o Hills I was reading Clarence Jordan’s book about the Sermon on the Mount, and he referrence a theologian named E.T. Thompson. My favorite joke is about E.T. , not Thompson, but the Extra Terrestrial, and let’s just say I had a comedic meltdown.)
Anyway, as I thought about Jesus’ words and the Law and the letter of the Law, the thought came to me that it is ok that I got a cuban espresso today because I still have a heart for righting injustice in the world and will actually be able to carry it out better if I’m taking care of myself.
So, there you have a disjointed post to go with my currently disjointed life, which thankfully still finds a purpose in serving Jesus by communing with the poor.
P.S. A portion of the profits from Land of 1000 Hills go back to the coffee farming communities in Rwanda. They pay above fair trade prices for their coffee and some of the profits are used to fund micro loans in coffee growing communities. If you live in the ATL, you should check them out. Great atmosphere. http://www.drinkcoffeedogood.com/home.php
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless,plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17