Melinda Roberts

Melinda Roberts

I want to talk about one of my favorite topics today, Sabbath.  

Now I am old enough to remember when it wasn’t just Chick-fil-a that was closed on Sunday.

When I was young it was the malls, movie theaters, grocery stores, many restaurants, skating rinks, and all the other places that I wanted to go other than church on a Sunday afternoon.

When I really began to hate the Sabbath rules in my faith was when as a young teenager, I began playing on a soccer team that played in weekend tournaments.

Most of these tournaments held their championship games on Sunday mornings.

Anytime my team ended up in the final game, I had to sit out.  

It was not until seminary that I began to become a fan of Sabbath.  What I discovered in seminary was the freedom to honor the Sabbath without being bored or stuck in my house.

I also discovered, almost out of necessity as someone that worked really hard all day on Sundays, that Sabbath is not limited to a particular day.

I do not have nearly enough space to share all my thoughts on Sabbath but I do want to share something that I have started to consider part of my personal Sabbath during these crazy COVID-19 days.

I mentioned last week in this space that I have not been pleased with some of the behaviors that came to the surface in me during these stressful times.

I recently started going to counseling. Counseling allows me to slow down and exit out of the stress of my everyday life.

Counseling forces me to quiet myself enough to listen to my soul and the feedback of an unbiased observer of my life.

Counseling forces me to be honest about the ways that I have fallen short. Counseling pushes me to be aware of and deal with traumas from the past that bubble up and affect my present.

Counseling provides me with strategies to be a better human.

Counseling also gives me a chance to recognize the victories and joys in my life that I become blind to as I fly through each day.

In summary, when I walk into a counseling session I feel tired, discouraged, stressed, and often defeated.

Walking out, I feel energized, challenged, peaceful, content, grateful and more connected to my God.

Does that not sound like what Sabbath was created to do for us?

I’m convinced then that counseling needs to be a priority and part of my life going forward as a continued Sabbath practice.

So now if you will excuse me, I have a Sabbath appointment I need to keep.

Rev. Melinda Roberts is the senior pastor at Salida United Methodist Church.

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