My Sabbath: A Personal Reflection – Cheryl Poulopoulis
It was before the era of Sunday shopping, devices, Netflix, and the internet. In the 1970’s our Sundays were filled with Sunday school, church, and more church. A large meal where the quality of the roast beef was dependent on the length of the sermon, fed our family of eight and often, at least one other family. And who can forget the famous Sunday drives? It was a day spent with God, family, friends, and His creation.
Over the years the way I observe the Sabbath has changed depending on where I live, family dynamics, and where I work. I currently worship where I work and worship with those with whom I work. What a blessing to be able to share Sundays together. Although, because of this, there are times I am unable to separate from my career. There is also the challenge of being available via phone, iPad, and computer 24 hours a day. My husband’s career requires that he be out several evenings and weekends, further complicating our ability to observe Sabbath together. I quickly realized that we needed to get creative as a couple with our Sabbath so that we could both truly stop and pause.
It took some tweaking but we have been able to find something that works for us and our unique work schedules. Now when my husband is out on weekends and evenings, I also spend time on my career. The rare week where there are no evening or weekend commitments we spend Sunday afternoon with our computers. This allows us to take our Sabbath on Monday, a day dedicated to God and family. Sunday morning is still a precious time of worship with our corps family and an essential part of our spiritual development. So, I guess you could say we observe a “split” Sabbath.
Through this process I have learned that God doesn’t really care when we Sabbath. He just cares that we do.
Through this process I have learned that God doesn’t really care when we Sabbath. He just cares that we do. I’ve also personally experienced that the spirit with which we enter the Sabbath determines how refreshed we will be on the other side of it. Observing Sabbath this way, at this time in my life, allows me to enter Sabbath with expectation, and I am never disappointed.
God does not change. He is my constant. However, our lives definitely will. I’m confident Sabbath will not always look like this for us, but I can say that I will enjoy the challenge of tweaking it when the time comes.
Written by Cheryl Poulopoulis, Director of the Seaside Pavilion in Old Orchard Beach, ME