Monday, July 17, 2006

Sunday...Truly a Day of Rest

Yesterday morning was a pretty good morning. I'm trying my hardest not to tack the phrase 'all things considered' on the end of that.

We had a hymn sing, which I've already mentioned, so that way it was a lower-anxiety day. The bigger event was an early visit from my buddy Ian and his girlfriend Gina on their way to New York. Gina's family lives in the same county as us, so they'd spent the night there on Saturday and cruised through our village on the way up to the Ohio turnpike. This was Ian's first visit to our house, and our first chance to meet Gina.

Sometimes it takes an outsider's perspective to see what you really have. Both raved about the irenic location and really seemed to like the amount of natural light the house provides. I was able to appreciate these things anew thanks to their comments. The lack of activities within walking distance still makes me a little crazy some days, but it really is a beautiful spot in which to live.

We traveled to the local coffeehouse, which I was happy to introduce them to because it helped share something more about the lifestyle we now enjoy back in Ohio. I highly recommended my favorite coffee...chocolate both of them. The rest of the hour was spent hearing about their plans for New York and future career options. We caught up on college friends and our own families.

By 9:00 when it was time to leave, I had to remind myself that I still had a worship service to lead. The morning so far had been that comfortable. I do wonder if I'd felt differently if I'd had to preach, though. Perhaps fortunately for all involved, I didn't, and instead I got to have a relaxing breakfast with my wife and best friend.

It set the tone for the day. The service was what it was set up to be, that being a mixed bag of hymns called out by the congregation: 'He Lives' to 'Silent Night' to 'Are You Washed in the Blood?' to a hymn that I honestly have never heard in my life but known by heart by some of our older members.

The majority of the afternoon was spent on the couch. Mrs. Jeff became engrossed by some Discovery channel programs about sunk ships such as the Titanic and Queen Anne's Revenge, while I quietly settled in for a nap. We were quite the picture of laziness: sitting on opposite ends of the couch, our legs intertwined, her watching TV and me in a coma. If that wasn't enough, two of our cats were doing pretty much the exact same thing on the back of the couch by my head. We ate take-out and later on wandered into town to get ice cream.

Some are quick to differentiate between sabbath and taking time off. Sabbath is meant to convey something more sacred, more spiritual, while just taking time off might be more what we did yesterday. I don't think the difference is that stark. Here we were spending the afternoon together, no church work or homework to speak of...just enjoying each other's presence. Somewhere in there was God, reminding us to take time to just be still. Maybe it fit into the category of 'Godly play,' though I don't know much about that concept (it actually sounds kind of silly). At any rate, the two of us have been enjoying a lot of days like this lately, more than in the past 2-3 months combined. God calls us to strengthened relationships, and if that's applicable anywhere, it's in marriage.

What I should have done at the end of the day is say a prayer of thanks. I didn't, but now that I've realized it I can say one now.