When I was a child Sunday was a Holy Day. Literally, Sunday was the day we would rest. Sunday was the day our family would attend Mass and then enjoy time together. Sunday was rarely a day that work or chores were performed.
In part, this was a natural tendency for the rhythm that we lived. My father was a carpenter who worked very hard in the elements, long days. Sunday my father was home. I recall so enjoying Sunday. In my early years Sunday meant we would awake and prepare to attend Mass as a family. On the way home, we would stop at the gas station where our gas tank would be filled as we would sit on summer days and enjoy a soda. In those days, a big electric cooler held the icy cold glass bottles of our favorite beverages. To purchase a soda meant we would be sitting with others who were as well enjoying their cool, refreshing treat after Mass. Glass bottles required us to sit and enjoy the soda, leaving the bottle in the box next to the cooler. Mom and Dad visited with the adults to catch up on the news in town. Glass bottles led us to slowing down and sharing time with others.
Life was busy and time was of great value. Faith, our church and relationships were important to my parents, to my community. We took the time each Sunday for a little relaxation, a little community time with family, friends and neighbors.
Many philosophers tell us in their writings that rest of the mind is essential for well-being. Most religious leaders will tell you that rest is essential for a balanced and healthy spiritual being. Rest lends to all being well with our soul.
Today, rest has taken a more limited place in many of our lives. We only need to turn our attention to corporate America to realize the value for us to recognize the need to take time to rest and revitalize ourselves. Our productivity for work is a direct flow from our well-being as a person, our well-being of mind, body and soul. And yet, we may find ourselves filling our calendars with so many activities and hours of work that we feel we have no time for rest, for play for self-care. Think of your own schedule this past week. How many hours in your week do you ensure are filled with fun, family and faith?
The very need for our body, mind and soul to be nourished can be overrun by the crazy schedules we live. Somewhere along we may find ourselves losing the time and space that we claim to value most. We may find ourselves yearning to reclaim and restore a balance to life for our days.
I must admit, I, too, have tendency to slide into the overload of work. I enjoy the work that I do, I enjoy being busy. I need to keep and awareness in my mind (and on paper) my time to nourish my soul and body. I am working to be more intentional about how I live and use the time God blesses me with each day.
Someone whose name I cannot recall said, “Look at your calendar and you will see where your values are in life.” I am not so sure that I have done well and am always pleased with that reflection.
I am working to be more aware, more intentional. I am using my calendar to be more aware of how I am balancing my time for self care of mind, body and soul. For me that means making note and blocking off time for prayer, spiritual reading and self care. Yes, it may seem strange to “schedule” prayer. I find that if I make note of the ways I spend my time, I am more aware of how I live.
Perhaps you, too, would appreciate the insights of scheduling your time. I highly recommend trying it for a few days. Awareness is a great step to developing a more healthy and well balanced life. As for Sundays, I’m working to recreate my childhood. I am scheduling Mass, and scheduling time to visit and share that soda with family and friends. This is the day the Lord has made, let us slow down and recall!
Believe n love,