Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Ah, Saturday. We’ve waited for you all week.
Nineteen years of school and post-secondary education have deeply engrained into my soul the concept that Saturday is a break from the regular duties of life. It is a day of limitless options when one is free to do anything; be it nothing or everything.
Saturdays used to be a day to catch up: catch up on sleep, catch up on work, catch up on yard work, catch up on socialising. But as a parent of preschoolers, I have found that Saturday is more or less the same as all the other days. The morning hits as hard as it does during the week. The kids wake up at their usual time and they still want breakfast immediately. There are still noses to wipe, diapers to change, toast to make, peanut butter to spread. This has been a shock to my system to which I am slowly adjusting.
Sometimes it is necessary to take a break, to rest AWAY from the kids, but I’m also beginning to see that if I want to make rest a regular rhythm, I have to learn how to rest WITH my kids. I don’t know what that looks like. Maybe throwing away the to-do list and taking the time to play; just being present. But to be totally present is difficult for me when my mind is moving in 10 different directions most of the time, often feeling the pull of something else I need or want to be doing.
Child’s play can be tiring for a couch potato like me. It’s challenging for me to level up to the children’s pace for an extended length of time. They seem to operate in perpetual motion and slow motion all at once and it leaves me dizzy. But I think somewhere in my children’s carefree existence and lack of agenda lies the secret of the Saturday State of Mind. They don’t know what time it is and they have no choice but to trust that their needs will be met. The fact that they are well-cared for leaves them free to enjoy life because someone Bigger is taking care of things.
So how can I rest when I am that someone bigger for my kids?
Because there’s someone even Bigger than me caring for us all; Christ is the presence of peace. The yoke of Jesus is easy and His burden is light. It’s the Sunday School answer and I know it’s true but I can’t say that I’ve fully understood it yet.
But I’m OK with being in progress, which is a pretty good place to start.
Happy Saturday. Take it easy today, ok?