Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Sabbath as our Thank You Card to God
I am thinking more routinely about Sabbath.
This is happening in deliberate ways – which sounds kind of odd. I am intentionally trying to think about “stopping” from work – but in the midst of that, I am actively working to think about stopping from working! Personally, I find that a bit humorous.
In that regard though, I am better able to think about things going on in my life.
I received a “Thank You” card today –and it caused me to think about Sabbath . . . here’s how:
As a professor at a university, I routinely receive requests from current or former students to write letters of recommendation on their behalf. I would venture to guess that I write at least one letter every month – and more often at certain “peak” seasons of the year, I will write as many as 10 to 15 letters in a given month.
Despite the fact that I routinely and regularly write letters on a half of other people, I rarely – in fact almost never – receive letters of thanks back to me, for the letters of recommendation I write. I had never really stopped to think about this, until today, when I received a letter of thanks.
Several months ago, I wrote a letter on behalf of JMH. Naturally, I had forgotten it, as this is just part of the routine of my employment and reference writing. But, JMH did not forget. And, she took the time to send me a “Thank You” card that I warmly received. It was not just a simple, “Thank you” – either. In her letter, JMH took the time to explain to me the specific situation that has emerged from her new employment. Her “Thank You” card was filled with her neat small, script - filling the blank side of the card, giving me the name of her new employer and a brief description of her new job. She thanked me for my small part in helping her get the new job.
Not only did I receive a “Thank You” card, - I received nice, thoughtful, extended expression of thanks, giving me insight into her current life situation. In her multiple sentences, clarifying details, I paused while reading to realize – JMH took the time to stop from her other tasks – in order to intentionally and thoughtfully remember my small role in helping her get where she is.
I wonder if our practices of Sabbath should be something like that. Stopping from our striving, to thank God for God’s role in getting us to where we are!
I wonder what it will mean for me to think - in the coming weeks – about Sabbath not as a “demanding” command of God – but as an opportunity with God – to stop and Thank God for what God has shaped and influenced in my life.
What would Sabbath be like if we truly viewed it as a day to give thanks to God – our “Thank You” day to and for God?
I can tell you quite plainly – I warmly received the letter from this former student. It literally made me feel good.
I wonder if God “feels good” when we stop to say Thanks and acknowledge God’s work in our lives.
My guess is, in whatever way God “feels” – it does make God feel good when we stop to be thankful to God.
So, I will make my Sabbath – opportunities to Give Thanks! I hope it makes God feel good!