I read an article recently that caused me to ponder anew-when is the Sabbath and how should I observe it?
I have two main thoughts about the Sabbath. The first is that it's a time to put life's worries aside and focus on the Lord and people I'm close to. The second is that it's an act of trust: I don't work on this day because it belongs to the Lord and I believe that He will provide.
There seems to be some confusion in modern-day life about whether the Sabbath is Saturday or Sunday or some other day. The Sabbath had always been Sunday for me. Whether I worked or studied, I tried to finish everything by Saturday night so that Sunday would be free. If I had exams or something and wasn't able to finish, I still tried to relax enough to have fellowship on Sunday and then rest a little before getting back to work.
That was in the past. Saturday recently became a very stressful day of the week for me. It was a marathon of cooking, cleaning, errands, preparing for church stuff on Sunday, preparing for teaching on Monday, and trying to catch up with e-mail correspondence. I began to resent Sundays because they "made me" work hard on Saturdays. And Sundays weren't exactly relaxing because I was so tired from Saturday that I could hardly hold my head up at church. Something seemed not quite right.
Then on a recent Saturday I was sick and was trying very hard to prepare Monday's lessons, but my head was just spinning and not generating any kind of coherent thoughts. I decided I was going to prepare exclusively for Sunday and forget about other work.
It felt like a great release to put everything else out of my mind and just get ready for Sunday. Of course, it meant that on Sunday afternoon I had to get back to work. But I felt more rested because I had taken it easy on Saturday.
Is the Sabbath supposed to be the last day, when you finally rest after working all week? Or is it the first day, when you rest as preparation for the next week? Or is it both?
I think that a lot of it depends on a person's individual work/study schedule for a particular period of life. But, as the Sabbath is meant to be "observed," fitting it in ought to be a priority when we are implementing a new schedule or considering which job to take.
I am left with questions, for now.