Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fallow for Accountability

In Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson writes, "Pastors must be in the avant garde of sabbath-keepers, reforesting land, so savagely denuded by the humorless bulldozers, with playgrounds and prayergrounds." And, in the margin of my book, I wrote, "Love, love this!" I love this statement because of its challenge and affirmation for my life. On one hand, I am very good at playgrounds, but on the other hand, I am terrible at prayergrounds. I love to play. Since starting a weekly Sabbath with my family, I have been reminded of this, and I see how my children love to play as well. They anticipate that we will all gather for games and share about our days. Just tonight Dillon asked when were we having another family night. However, we reminded him that we did on Thursday night, Friday afternoon and even watched a movie together tonight. He loves to play. The old adage, "Like father, like son," applies here. Thus, the words of Eugene Peterson affirm my love of playing. in fact, I think I will start a game of hide-n-seek in the house tomorrow.

While I am good at playing, I am not the best at prayer. Yes, I pray throughout the day, and yes, I enjoy silence every evening once the family sleeps the night away. Yet, prayer as a set time where I sit and intercede, listen and just be is not my best suit. I am finding that this concentration towards and for Sabbath is challenging me to be a better pray-er.

Since I have been deemed, "He who likes to change the subject," I will divert the rest of my attention and space to writing about the Graham family Sabbath on Friday, March 25, 2011. On this Friday I decided to take a nap finding myself really worn out from the previous two weeks of work and family visiting from out-of-town. I woke up in time to pick up my daughter from preschool. Once we arrived back home, she decided to watch a movie, and I choose to get some needed closet tidying done prior to the set Sabbath hours (This was actually rewarding because my wife was ecstatic whenever she returned home from work, she exclaimed, "Awesome job, honey! Believe that if you will.).

Later, the three of us set off for Dillon's school Cub Call (elementary pep-rally) where he was set to be the Cub of the Month for kindergarten. We rewarded Payton and him by heading to a local frozen yogurt place spending time to talk about one another's day. Then, we headed to Wal-Mart (It was odd to actually be there since Ginger now coupons and rarely shops there) to celebrate good report cards by purchasing the kids a gift. It is not our usual custom to buy toys, but we wanted to celebrate the excellent reports and achievements of our kids. At Wal-Mart, I was pleased to hear that Dillon remembered what Sabbath meant. He excitedly produced a Sunday school answer whenever I asked him who participated in the first Sabbath: Jesus. It was fine. The whole Trinitarian understanding of God can make that confusing anyway; besides, he is only six.

After picking out toys, we shared a meal together at home. Ginger challenged the Sabbath notion of cooking; however, I trumped her by saying that she should just prepare it beforehand in stead. The darts being sent from her might have possibly broken the Sabbath understanding of no killing on Sabbaths. While I write tongue-in-cheek, I should probably offer to cook the next meal. Sharing a meal is always fun at our house. Typically, someone breaks out into a dance routine evolving into some form of discipline; but, a man has to do what a man has to do even if that means getting in trouble for inciting the crazies. We spent the rest of the evening at a t-ball game where Dillon was able to tag a player from another team out, something he has been dying to do. It was a good Sabbath as it was filled with lots of playing and shared time. We prayed for the meal and that evening before bed, but we should have spent more time in focused prayer.

May we all be inspired to be cultivators of play- and praygrounds...

PS - I think refusing to proof-read blog entries is also part of my Sabbath keeping experience.

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