Holidays are a pain

Holidays can be a real pain.

It takes so long to get back into the rhythm of things. There are bags to be unpacked and laundry to be cleaned. We have catching up to do at work and at home. We’re tired after expending more time and energy than we normally do. Not to mention the fact that healthy eating and exercise habits tend to go out the window!

Holidays can be a real pain, but they’re totally worth it.

Interrupting the mundane rhythm of everyday life reminds us of the important things we tend to neglect—not things, but people. Relationships. Family. Feelings.

It is interesting that God ordained a weekly Sabbath for his people. Surely that must have been inconvenient! Everybody had to gather twice as much the night before. You couldn’t take a trip that day. Your fire better have been kindled in advance. No late-night runs to Wal-Mart for the Jews!

Nobody was exempt, either. The rich couldn’t enjoy the benefit of Sabbath on the backs of the poor or the foreign. The poor had equal preference with the rich. Everybody was to participate in this weekly ritual. Six days of work, one day of rest. It wasn’t so much a cycle, but an ellipse of work interrupted by something different. Not a vacation, but a time of reflection.

God knew we humans settle into routines. Mindless repetitions that become tiresome ruts. So he provided an interruption. For the Jews it was Sabbath and the high feast days. They may come in different forms for us today, but the principle of taking some time to break the routines and appreciate the things that matter most is a gift from God. They might be difficult, but imagine life without them.

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