When I first started writing about my efforts to keep a Sabbath, I was afraid it would turn people off. I was afraid I’d come off as holier-than-thou and that maybe I should tone it down. Then one of my friends said, “Don’t be afraid to talk about the benefits.”
So here goes. One benefit to keeping the Sabbath is that, more than likely, your bad news will come on that day. And that is a blessing.
Is anyone familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and title song “Tell Me On A Sunday”? (I just know the song, not the actual musical.) Anyway, I’ve often had bad news come on a Sabbath. And believe me, I couldn’t have borne it on any other day.
Case in point: the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I was listening to a podcast which interviewed a veterinarian who specialized in older dogs. No, it wasn’t spiritual; it was animal.
It soon became clear that this vet was talking about dogs much younger than mine–dogs who were 7 or 8, not pushing 15. Then the vet began describing something called canine dementia, when a dog gets lost in its own house, wandering in circles. He said sometimes they get trapped in a corner and just howl because they can’t remember how to turn around.
That described our Darlin’ to a tee. And I started to cry. It was time. It was past time.
So I told the kids. And I told my husband, who had been waiting for me to come around). And we loved the heck out of Darlin’ through Thanksgiving, and the following Monday, my husband took her to the vet and stayed with her until it was over.
Not all Sabbaths are rest and worship and communion and fellowship. Some are awful. But observing them regularly makes space for that awfulness. Now, when I feel bad news looming, I find myself praying, “Tell me on a Sunday, please.”