A Return to Sabbath Rest and Meals

I am possibly the worst technology offender in my house. On one hand, I don’t feel like I’m as dependent upon it as I probably am; on the other hand, I know I utilize it far more than I really need to. As we came home from our family Thanksgiving yesterday, I woke up this morning feeling like I could very well lose the day. I could get sucked into a waste land of Facebook and Pinterest and the like and give in to the perpetual, “Can we watch another movie?” request by any one of six kids in this house.

And in truth, we did do a fair amount of that this morning. But sometime before lunch I decided: We needed to return to our old tradition of taking a media/electronics fast from 5pm Saturday to 5pm Sunday and bring back the intentionality of a thought-filled meal time. Now then, I didn’t plan this well in advance and we had a lot of chili leftover from last night’s dinner, so I didn’t stress over the meal. I simply set the table as nice as I could for a chili supper and we gathered around to eat, pray, and read from the Bible together. And I discovered that really it isn’t the meal that sets the tone so much as it’s the intentionality that does. Chili on china communicates something far different that does chili served in a paper bowl.

I’m writing this post on Sunday night, so our media fast has come to an end for this weekend. It was a fairly fascinating exercise. Our kids played better together than they had in a long time. I was primarily concerned about the boys, but they just followed our lead and didn’t mind. The girls played Legos with them and they pulled out cards for some Nerts. Chloe did some extra baking. The girls decorated the Christmas tree. We read some books. I reorganized both the fridge and the pantry. Craig reorganized his study area and we shuffled around a lot of books. We even fired up our ancient victrola for a bit.

Oh, and we got a lot more sleep.

It shouldn’t surprise me like it does. I’m so resistant to pulling back and doing this, yet when we do, the blessings of efficiency and peace and rest and enjoyment just abound. It just so happened that this was also the first weekend of advent, but that wasn’t the driving force behind this decision earlier in the day – I just took one look at the calendar and realized our whole family desperately needs this time.

And so here we go. We are making an attempt to return to our weekly Sabbath meal and technology fast. Since our church meets at 5pm on Sunday nights, I think I may propose the fast go from 7pm Saturday to 7pm Sunday, or I could just suck it up and do a 26 hour fast. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

At any rate, it was a lovely way to bid adieu to November and tip our hat in the direction of December. I already have our meal for next weekend planned and I’m looking forward to it already.



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