Sunday, April 4, 2010

Snowdays and Sabbaths

“There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected by this are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologizes needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.”

-Excerpt from The Shack by William P. Young

Living on a college campus, I feel that the anxiety of an anticipated snow day more than others. The number of prayers issued forth on a single wintry eve no doubt (and quite unfortunately) are exponentially higher than any other time (with the singular exception of exam week!). Once, when school was canceled halfway through the day, I was sitting in our cafeteria and could visibly watch people’s reactions as the joyous news spread throughout the tables of undergraduates.

All this makes me think. Why is it such a relief when we are forced to slow down? Could it perhaps be that we were created to slow down? Was this God’s original intent? After all, the first thing God does after the Creation of the world is rest. And He creates a special day set aside as a rest. Are snowdays simply a forced, modern substitute for the Sabbath?

Perhaps we should embrace this idea, the idea of a rest, a Sabbath, a slowing down. Think of the refreshment that comes from a single snow day. Why not gives ourselves that rest every week? Imagine setting time aside to simply live, breathe, exist.

Too busy, you say? I think not. After all, how much wasted time do you have each day that is spent surfing the internet or flipping TV channels? Put this time to good use, a make time for a Sabbath. Furthermore, a Sabbath would provide refreshment which would make the rest of the week run smoother. In essence, you are more prepared for the week because you have rested both physically and mentally so you will work faster and more effectively.

Try it. For the next month commit to setting aside one day as a Sabbath. Work ahead on projects so that you can truly rest. Spend that time with family or friends. Catch up on pleasure reading (a novality for any college student, or any adult for that matter!). Take a walk and breathe in nature while reflecting on Browning’s famous quote (“Earth’s crammed with Heaven and every common bush aflame with God”). Turn off the TV. Turn off the computer. Ignore your cell phone. Refuse to feel guilty over “wasted” time. Stop trying to make the most of every moment and learn to simply enjoy every moment.

Treat yourself to a “snowday.”





  1. Yes! I completely agree!! It is so important to take that day of rest and it truly does affect my entire week.

  2. Yes, friend! I agree, as you already know! So important to take the day off. Tomorrow Roy and I are going to spend our Sabbath enjoying the nature God's given us, hiking and exploring a little bit away from here! I'm excited! I love having my Sabbaths to not work, to rest, to spend time with Jesus and friends. I miss you friend. Hope all is well.


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