Day-offs or Sabbaths

“…Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?’…” (Mark 3:4) 

               I took a leave from work yesterday, supposedly, in order to relax. But I never got to. My day began as early as 5am. My alarm clock was the sweet voice of a one year old, “Wake up, Papang! Get your lazy butt up and off to work you go!” (Of course, all Mara said actually was “Googoo, wawaah, Papam…”, but somehow it sounded differently to a sleep-hungry and rest-deprived individual.) And so thirty minutes of “blissful” playtime ensued. Soon thereafter my eldest daughter, Robelle, woke up, and another thirty minutes of playtime followed. 

      Then I had to withdraw from the mayhem to have my time with God. Pretty soon thereafter, I had to shower and get dressed to drive my dad to the airport to catch his return flight to Davao City. And of course, what greeted me with open arms on the road was the usual EDSA traffic. I took this time to bond with my Dad by swapping insights regarding his favorite topic — basketball during the 70’s and 80’s. 

       After dropping my dad off at the airport, I had to waddle my way back through EDSA and rush back to Podium Mall in Ortigas for a one-to-one lunch meeting with Bro. Bo Sanchez. The meeting was terrific. Two hours with Bo was indeed refreshing for the soul. But before I knew it, I was back on the road to pick up my younger sister in Katipunan to bring her to St. Luke’s Hospital for a check up. 

      By 5PM, I was scuttling my way back to the house to catch my breath. And guess what I did as soon as I got home? Continued from where I left off, of course:  Playing piggyback with Mara, and Barbie dolls with Robelle. 

      By 6PM, I had to start getting ready to travel to Taguig for a dinner meeting in preparation for an upcoming evangelistic event sponsored by our prayer group. Again, the traffic, this time along C-5, embraced me like a long lost friend (with matching tears in my eyes!).  

      It was around 11:30PM when I finally got home. I was greeted by a wide-awake Robelle who, according to her yaya, just woke up an hour ago from a considerably long nap. Sheepishly, she asked me to read her a bedtime story. And so as soon as I got to dress down to my sleeping clothes, we were off to story land. By midnight, however, both I and my daughter were dozing our way to dreamland. 

     So is this a litany of woes? No, my friend. This is a litany of blessings. 

      While my body was tired, my spirit was rested. While my mind was exhausted, my heart was inspired. Why? Because I made good use of my day of rest by taking a break from myself and taking time out to love. I took a break from my self-preoccupation, self-concern and selfish desires. I made time to play with my children, bond with my dad, comfort my sister, and serve my prayer group.  

     Don’t get me wrong. I am a proponent of genuine physical rest. You know, those pre-designated days when after saying your morning prayers, you just read a good book, watch the lates movie or play basketball the whole day. This is essential to combat stress and maintain a balance life. Yes, physical rest is a must for every person.  

     But don’t call it a “Sabbath”. Call it a day-off.  

      Yesterday, while I planned it to be day-off, my God had other plans. Apparently, in a non-doctrinal sense, God wanted yesterday to be a “Sabbath” for me. He wanted me to rest spiritually by taking time out to join Him in purposefully and pro-actively loving others in an extra way.   

     Take it from Jesus when he scolded the Pharisees:  

…Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?’…” (Mark 3:4) 

      Jesus was insistent that the Sabbath was not about doing nothing for the sake of doing nothing, but purposively doing nothing to make more space for those things which really matter — the fulfillment of our highest call to love God and others. 

      Friend, the next time you plan on taking a break from your work, try asking God first the question: Lord, do you want me take a simple day-off or a purposeful Sabbath”? Who knows, your soul might need more rest than your body.  

     “Who knows?”  Well, God does. So take His cue.  

     Have a blessed day! 

     I remain, your friend in Christ, 

     Bobby Q. 



One thought on “Day-offs or Sabbaths

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » A New Blog to Read Regularly

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