I was listening to a sermon by Matt Chandler
recently about the Sabbath and it was very impactful. He talked about the importance of rest and how vital it is for us to take time for the things that are good in our lives. He laid the foundation for the purpose of Sabbath with Jesus' words about the Sabbath being made for man, not man for the Sabbath. One of the things that really struck me about his message was his emphasis on using the Sabbath not to avoid work, but rather to really enjoy God's grace and His good for us -- to share a meal with friends, to relax with my wife, to laugh with my son.
I've decided to make Sunday my day of rest. I'm still working out what that looks like, but I know a couple of things:
- No work, and a lot less computer.
- No obligations. Lauren and I teach the Youth at our church and this means we have our lesson done before Sunday, so we don't feel rushed to get it done.
- Eat well, laugh, and rest.
One of the last things Matt said was a quote from a Jewish Rabbi, "Those who work with their minds tend to Sabbath with their hands, those who work with their hands tend to Sabbath with their minds." I really resonate with that. I spend most of my week plugging away at the computer and so I find real joy and rest in working with my hands -- whether that is working in the yard or woodworking in my garage.
As part of my exploration of what it means for me to Sabbath I took on a woodworking project for Lauren. She had asked me to make her a table to put by the rocking chair in the nursery so she would have a place to set her phone and water (apparently you get really thirsty when you're breast-feeding). I've been slowly delving into woodworking with some small projects (bookshelves, wine racks, bird feeder) and one larger project (Cherry jewelry box). There is something really relaxing about working with wood to me and something really satisfying in making something with my own hands.
I made the table with some oak I got from our pastor -- he sells stair parts and is able to pick up the scraps from a furniture maker in Dawsonville. I had to buy the wood for the top from Lowes, cut it, and glue the two pieces together to create the single 14x14" top. I routed the edge of the top with my router table to give it a nice, curved look. I pre-drilled the holes for the legs and support pieces, then screwed and glued the whole thing together. Finally, I sanded everything down and put two coats of polyurethane on it.
I learn a lot with each project. Woodworking forces me to slow down, to measure twice, to care about the small things. My hope is that as I Sabbath well, I will work well and live well.