One of my favorite prayer books is Celtic Daily Prayer. Flipping through it one day, I found a section on Shabbat and some information on how the early Celtic Christians observed it. Apparently, Celtic Christians observed the Sabbath on Saturday, broke it after the Eucharist, and worked the rest of the day Sunday. So moved was I by this that I gobbled up books on Christian Sabbath-keeping, and I worked my way mightily through one yesterday as I observed the Sabbath for the first time.
I sort of got used to the notion when I was Orthodox. We were advised to keep the Lord's Day (Sunday, of course) differently than the other days of the week. We still observed the Sabbath on Saturday (or at least said we did), but the Lord's Day took precedence. And guess what? I sucked at it. I got very restless on Sundays, feeling that the hard part (church itself) had been done, and that the afternoon would be best spent unwinding with Super Paper Mario. But the Celtic way made sense: Rest up and pray and read before the Eucharist, then do light work afterwards. Light work: like blogging. So I gave it a shot.
I'd say Sabbath was atypical, but really it's sort of half-typical: I was on my own for most of the day. Chris got home from work; handed me a croissant, a soy white chocolate mocha, and my pills; and passed out until 3:00PM. So I was on my own. Next week he won't be working, although we'll be having my bebe niece's first birthday party, so we'll see how things go. Here were the ground rules:
ALLOWED: Kindle, iPod, HVAC, lights
NOT ALLOWED: Phone (except for the weather and the Electronic Common Prayer app), TV, WiiU, computer, email, Facebook--oh my gosh, especially Facebook!--knitting, exercise
Doesn't taking away knitting sound cruel? I figured that making hats for the homeless was pretty much my job, and I knew I'd knit all damn day if given the chance. I needed quality time with the books on my Kindle.
Time has never moved more slowly. Amazing how time works when you're not staring at a computer all morning. I read my Bible, said morning prayers, prayed the Catholic rosary for the first time, prayed the Anglican rosary for the billionth time, and devoured books. Around noon, I had a simple lunch and returned to my Sabbath-y endeavors.
Then things turned bad.
I had been informed by the adorable graphic novels called Hereville that naps on Shabbos/Shabbat/Sabbath are more restful than regular naps, so I laid down on the sofa ... and couldn't even keep my eyes shut. Too many homemade chocolate chai's, I'm guessing. So I went back to reading, which was beginning to feel like work (remember what's not allowed on the Sabbath?) until 2:00PM, when I'd promised myself a treat. The Roomba started up (no Sabbath for the robot vacuum), and I put on my headphones and turned on my iPod (now a collector's item!), which was filled to the brim with hymns.
By the time Chris got up, I was a mess. Ideally the Roomba would do its job and then dock at its charging station, and then we'd empty out the day's collection of dog and cat hair. However, it decided to spend a good half-hour under the couch, getting tangled in wires and making terrible noises. So Chris found his lovely wife on the couch in a complete state of enflustermalation (I said it, so it's a real word now). He picked up the Roomba and docked it himself.
(Now might be a good time to mention that the Roomba is so adverse to docking that it's been running today for 2-1/2 hours. I may have to go save it from itself.)
Then Chris and I had our usual early dinner since he had to work again, and I ate too much, and everything ended on a low note. But I must say--one day without Facebook? PURE HEAVEN. So the cycle shall continue, hopefully with better results as time goes on.
Despite the Roomba totally harshing my mellow, I'd say the first Sabbath was a success. There was a little desire to be on the computer, and I might have stared longingly at my knitting, but it was a lovely, lovely day. So yes, more on the experiment as we read more and experience more.