Dion's random ramblings

Saturday, February 09, 2008

What do you do on a 'free' Saturday?

Days like these are rare! It is a Saturday morning and I don't have a single meeting to go to.

I woke up a little later this morning - normally Liam will have Megan and I awake at around 5.30am. I am quite an early riser so I am often awake a little before that. I then make breakfast for the family and get ready for the day's work. This morning I got little Liam out of his cot and came through to the lounge to play with him so that Megie could sleep in a little longer. Courtney is awake now and is watching Cartoon Network and keeping Liam busy with some toys...

It is wonderful to think that there is a whole day ahead of me with not a single meeting or fixed appointment!! Ahhhh...

I think that rest, relaxation, and some free time, are part of God's plan and desire for humanity. The Aboriginal cultre of Australia has a saying that says (something like) - When you have walked for days you must stop so that your soul can catch up with your body.

I feel a little like that at times!

The monks of the scholastic era, whose lives were structured according to the rules of their abbey (most often along the lines of study, prayer, and work) would speak of such free time as otium sanctum (translated from Latin it means 'Holy leisure'). This concept is, of course, derived from the biblical notion of sabbath. The sabbath (which we read about in Genesis) came into its full swing (i.e., popular acceptance, rather than just an injunction in the law), as far as I can remember, when the Israelites were in Exile in Babylon (Genesis 1:1-2:3 was written during the Exilic period, in fact the grammatical structure and use of phrases most represents Psalm 137). Of course the notion of sabbath had existed since a much earlier period. However, as with many things in culture and religion, they only gain prominence when they make sense to us!

During this time (the Exile) the Israelites were subject to their Babylonian masters, their lives were beyond their control (hence the emphasis upon God's sovereign creative control in Genesis 1), they had no time to relax, let alone worship God (hence the 'priestly' injunction in Genesis 2:1-3 to hallow the Sabbath). If one takes Psalm 137 and Genesis 1 together one can see the Genesis 1 could be an answer to Psalm 137's question 'how can we sing a song to the Lord in this strange land?'. Well, Genesis 1 says, even though the land may be strange, God created it, even though you may feel like animals, God created you seperate from other species (in God's own image), even though you may think that God is far (on the Mount of Zion, Jerusalem, or in the temple) God is speaking creation into being all around you, so RELAX, take some time out to remember the Lord who creates and recreates all of reality.... Yup, that is the etymology of 'recreation', it literally comes from the creation motif!

Today shall be my Sabbath, my otium sanctum, today I shall recall that when my life seems out of control the God of order speaks into it. Today I shall recall that the God of flowers, the God of binary, the God of life, the God of Israel, the God of Africans, the God of ALL CREATION has not stopped re-creating me! Ah, what a thought!

We all need a little free time to just be in a world that seems structure along the lines of doing rather than being.

So, what will I do today? Well, I think I'll spend as much time as I can with my family. I'll give my Vespa a little spin. I'll take an hour or so to read (just for fun)... I'll surf the web and hopefully find a few useful things to post to my blog, and who knows, I may even get a chance to go for a haircut!

What do you do with a 'free' Saturday?


  • Hi Dion

    What's a "free Saturday"?

    I'm beginning to discover that Saturdays seem to be "Meeting Days", with EVERY Saturday in 2008 thus far having some or other meeting.

    Nick Prinsloo, a new minister in our Circuit, told me that one of the most important words to learn in ministry is "no".

    Now looking at my diary, I see that 1 March 2008 has no entries in it, so if anyone wants to have a meeting on that day, be my guest. If they want me at it, the answer is NO!

    I can always blame Nick...

    By Blogger Steven Jones, at 3:51 PM  

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