John and I are firm believers in the importance of incorporating Sabbath time into family life. Sabbath is time set aside for rest and relaxation and spiritual growth and prayer and fun and play. Traditionally, one day each week was set aside for these important activities. If a full day of Sabbath seems impossible, families are now encouraged to take a little Sabbath time wherever they can make space for it. In a recent issue of the Catholic Courier, David Gibson writes a very interesting article about the joys and struggles of carving out Sabbath time in the midst of a busy family.
It is hard to find time for Sabbath when family members are stretched in many directions. Sometimes, being a parent feels like being head of the transportation committee or social-events chairperson. It is difficult to find time to accomplish all of the items on our "to do" lists. Between work, housework and homework, there is little or no time for play or prayer.
The truth is, if we try to fit some Sabbath time into our overstuffed lives, we will fail. If we want to regain a sense of balance and peace in our lives, we have to make Sabbath time a priority. For us, this means that John and I will have to say "no" to some great opportunities. We cannot do everything and still make time for Sabbath.
When we find ourselves slipping into bad habits of neglecting our Sabbath and letting busyness steal time from our prayer and rest, we think about the message we are sending our children. We do not want to teach them that work is everything, that making money is the highest priority or that cleaning the house is more important than spending time with family. Instead, we want to show them our attempts to balance these important aspects of family functioning with the need for prayer and rest and time together and fun.