During the stay at home order, will you choose to quarantine or to be on sabbatical?

I wanted to share my thoughts from a Facebook video I did. But, please continue to read the blog post because it’s different from the video. : )

The Word Sabbatical comes from Sabbath

The word sabbatical comes from the word sabbath. The Sabbath, if you recall is one of the ten commandments. The commandments were not meant to be a lot of rules, but a means of protection. Sabbath means rest.

Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday. Remember when the majority of stores were closed on Sunday? If you had forgotten to buy baking powder for your biscuits you were making Sunday, you’d be out of luck to find some.

But Sunday within our Western culture has become just another day like all the rest, business as usual with the exception of people with Monday-Friday 9-5 jobs that have the luxury of Sunday off.

That has all changed in an instant when most of us are forced to stay at home due to COVID-19.

On Thanksgiving and Christmas, Robert and I would love to see the empty parking lots of grocery stores and malls when the masses got to take days off to be thankful and celebrate Christ’s birth. Now when we see all the empty lots seven days a week, it’s not comforting but alarming.

During Quarantine Will You Choose Busyness or Rest?

During this time, will you choose to quarantine and binge watch movies and programs and any number of distractions to fill your days, or will you treat this as a sabbatical?

In Leviticus 25:3-5, it talks about working the land for six years and resting the land and all labor from the land in the seventh year.

When you think about it, land that is overused becomes useless. It needs time to be fallow for the soil to regenerate nutrients. Why do we think we can keep going without rest?

Typically, a sabbatical was granted to university professors after seven years to take a year off for travel, study or rest. Our pastors and our choir director take sabbaticals to refresh and renew themselves.

I try not to have regrets in my life, but the one I do have was during my maternity leave. I was an account executive for a radio station at the time. My two women bosses (who were wonderful), both had babies and went back to work within a few weeks after giving birth.

Since I was on straight commission and not a salary, they said nothing would change during my maternity leave and gave me a fax machine to work from home (this was in the 90’s before email). So, even with complications, I worked through my maternity leave. I regret that.

I realize that if you are a mom with children to home school now, this time will not look like a sabbatical. I hope, regardless of the added responsibilities, that you will find the blessing.

What to Do During a Sabbatical

What do people do on a sabbatical? Some learn something new. (There’s lots to learn on the Internet). While travel is off the table at the moment, perhaps you can plan for a future trip. Some take time to rest. God rested on the seventh day you know. : )

The world has been forced from its busyness to literally stop – to be still as I like to say.

It is only when we learn to be still, to rest, that we can listen to our still, small voice inside of us and the Holy Spirit’s wisdom inside of us.

I must confess that I feel torn between the outside voices calling me to accomplish something massive during this time, that I’m not doing enough, and the voice inside of me, the peaceful voice that tells me to be gentle with myself and rest.

I thought it was appropriate to share the word Rest from God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement:

The world calls you to be busy, but I call you to rest.

Rest your mind from doubt, worry, and troubles.

Rest your body with sleep.

Rest in the arms of My comfort.

Rest in the shelter of My protection.

Rest assured that I am with you and will always love you.

Will you choose to quarantine or to be on sabbatical?

I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.