Redefining Rest (Day #29)

If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know about my no-writing on Sundays rule – my attempt to observe a weekly Sabbath while in the midst of this I-can’t-spare-a-minute endeavor.  I didn’t create this rule lightly.  I know myself.  I know that resting isn’t easy for me.  I know that when forced to rest, I suffer from a very intense case of yes-but-I-could-be-doing-this! syndrome.

But I wanted to keep a Sabbath.  I wanted to remind myself – weekly – that despite my passion and enthusiasm and commitment to this project, what I am attempting is beyond me.  It’s more than I can do.  I wanted to observe a day of rest as an acknowledgment that I am dependent on God.  In this.  In everything.

Yesterday was Day #28.  Sabbath #4.  The last day of what had been my most productive week so far.

The first Sunday of Lent.

The lenten season has special significance to my writing career (that is, if you can call something no one pays you to do a “career”).  Three years ago, I was struggling with how to make writing a part of my routine.  I wanted to write daily.  I wanted to write, period.  But I was billing 12+ hour days.  Writing was a luxury I couldn’t afford.

Yet, I felt this yearning that wouldn’t go away.  This sense that I was supposed to be writing – whatever that meant.  And so, on Ash Wednesday 2007, I gave up my “freedom not to write.”  I declared my commitment to write daily for the 40 days of Lent.  And I did.

I’ve been writing daily ever since.

I sincerely believe that my life would be different today had I not made (and kept) that Lenten promise.  It was during those 40 days that I became a writer.  Thus began a journey – a passion pursuit! – that has brought me to this moment and this new challenge.  Quite literally, in fact.  I spent the 2007 Lenten season working on a pilot script – my very first.  Three years later, that script has become a novel.

Okay, so back to yesterday.  Sabbath day.  After such a productive week, I should have embraced the day off.  But I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to rest.  I wanted to write!  Not because I felt pressure to be productive, but because I didn’t want to lose the momentum I’d spent the previous six days building.  I was on a roll.  Ideas were flowing.  More important, words were flowing.  And my little girl was in a fantastic, relatively un-moany mood.

I could not afford to spare a day.  Not this day, at least.

And so, I did what I do best.  I began to rationalize.  If I’m doing something that brings me joy, then isn’t that a form of rest?  If I don’t feel like I’m working, then maybe it doesn’t count.

But then, another voice.  A quieter one.  You’re missing the point.

In the end, my cursor didn’t move.  It’s still blinking in the exact same spot I left it on Saturday afternoon.

Instead, I read some blog posts.  I read the Bible.  I sent some long overdue talking-really-talking emails.  I responded to your comments.  I talked to Lil Mil.  I ate a very tasty BLT.

Do these things count as rest?  I don’t know.  They felt like rest to me.

You’re missing the point.

I know.

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