When we were in Jerusalem, we stayed with an Orthodox Jew named David (pronounced Dah-VEED, there). He was eccentric but kind. Two of us were assigned to make Shabbat dinner like the Orthodox do, following the Rabbinical Kosher laws. The foremost rule was that they had to be done cooking by sundown.
When it was nearly five, the Shabbat horn sounded. You could hear it all across the city. “Turn off the stove,” said David. “You’re done.” However, dinner wasn’t finished. One of the dishes still needed to cook. “It’s time to light the candle,” David said.
We did without that last dish. One of the cooks cried. It was among the most stressful experiences in a year of travel, she said.
However, it taught me something important: sometimes you have to make sacrifices to protect your rest.
Every Saturday, I turn off my computer at 6:00 pm. I don’t email, use facebook, write. Instead, I rest. I read books. I hang out with my wife.
However, last night, I didn’t get home from work until 6:06 PM. I hadn’t written a blog post for Sunday morning. I had a choice to break my rest or make a sacrifice. I decided to just break my rest a little bit and began writing this post. I quickly realized the hypocrisy of my situation. I turned my computer off.
Rest is for you. It’s a gift to your soul. And if you cut corners when you give to yourself, you’ll cut corners on everything.