Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday: Remembering A Perfect Saturday

Saturday was a nearly perfect night.

My parents, sister & brother-in-law came over to celebrate Mom's b-day with us.

We enjoyed homemade lasagna, garlic bread, salad, and a california mix of veggies. (I did a lot of the cooking, but my wife knows JUST how to plan the menu.) It was delicious. (I haven't eaten yet today and now I have to wipe the drool off the keyboard.)

After dinner we gave Mom a couple of small gifts. Then we cut up the birthday pie (apple +), scooped the accompanying ice cream, and divided up into 2 rooms: football fans (for the OSU vs. U-M game), and fireplace fans. Strangely enough, the divide also was by gender, though that was unintentional, I think.

Being the host, I kind of made my way back and forth between the 2 rooms. When I'd hit a commercial break or the Buckeyes would look like they had things in hand, I'd move into the living room to throw another log on the fire and chat with the non-football-watching-members-of-the-family.

Pretty cool to watch my wife, daughters, mom, and sister converse. The fireplace seemed to provide the perfect backdrop to describe the ambiance of the evening: warm and glowing.

The end of the game came. My team won! (Go Bucks! [yes, I live 15 minutes from Ann Arbor.) The whole crew piled into two vehicles and headed over to the high school where we watched my daughter in the high school production of "Children of Eden".

At a break in the production, a couple of girls seated directly in front of us, commented upon how much they liked my daughter (not knowing that her family was directly behind them!). I had to have a bit of fun. I said, "Don't you think that girl is a PAIN?!"

I must have been smiling when I said it because after an initial startling, the one girl responded, "Are you her father? I think she's COOL!!"

We enjoyed a brief conversation. I made sure to find out their names so I could relay the story to my daughter as accurately and detailed as she'd demand.

The play ended. The family went home. And all seemed right in the world.

That was Saturday.

Today is Monday. Things have devolved into a little less than perfect. But simply taking 15 minutes to recount the smells, sounds, smiles, and sights of Saturday gives me the peace to clear my mind of all the crud, focus on what really matters, and move on.

My religious tradition emphasizes the principle of sabbath ("the institution or observance of a day of rest" says Funk & Wagnall's). I am glad to take such a break, mentally, if not physically, today. I'm glad for the opportunity to "clear the slate" and retarget my heart and life. Funny how such a pause can restore needed energy and passion.

Eugene Peterson writes that sabbath reminds us the world can go on for 1 day each week without us pushing, pulling, prodding, or worrying. The world was here before I came on the scene and it will be here after I exit the stage.

Good thought. Not one that makes capitalism steamroll along. But one that can bring the hurried and the harried to balance.

Here's to you building sabbath into your life.

Grace & peace.

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