Marketta Gregory: Gift of the Sabbath

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On my best days, very little of my writing happens at the computer.

It happens while I’m walking through a park, or showering or hot gluing dictionary pages to form a wreath. It happens when I’m living.

And if I’m not doing enough living? My writing and my creativity suffer. I sit at the computer and stare out the window. I glance at other people’s lives on Facebook. I make lists but not progress.

I know all of this and still I cram my weekends full of projects that feel like work – and then creating starts to feel like work, too, because I haven’t taken time for a Sabbath or time to be still. The words become shy and sometimes even obstinate. They eek out onto the page and look more like me and less like God.

I was at that point a couple of weeks ago. I knew I needed a bit of margin, a bit of down time, but instead I compiled a long list of household tasks for me and for the rest of my family. I made a fast trip for a few supplies and I returned to flooding in our basement. We turned the water off and waited for the on-call plumber to fit us in.

It was an inconvenience. No water all afternoon for mopping or dishes or cleaning the bathroom. No water for anything on our lists. And we were fearful of the bill, especially with calling someone out on a weekend.

But there was plenty of sunshine and comfortable chairs on the porch. Plenty of kids who wanted to blow bubbles and play with trains in the front yard. Plenty of snacks and water shooters. Plenty of time to just enjoy one another.

When the tired plumber arrived that evening, he told us it was just a clog in the water main. Something he could easily take care of with the tools in his truck. Something our checking account could handle.

I breathed a sigh of relief and was grateful for the news and for the gift of a Sabbath.

Marketta Gregory is a former religion reporter who now shares her own journey of faith with readers. She lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, their three young boys and one very vocal Pomeranian. To contact Gregory, email or write to her at P.O. Box 12923, Rochester, NY 14612. You can also visit the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at @MarkettaGregory.