It was 8:30am and we all sat in the bagel shop dressed in our Sunday best. We managed to get out of the house on time that morning to have breakfast and still make it to church before the first notes of worship were to be played. It was a miracle.
I can’t remember which one of us said it first, but someone said…“beach”.
Our family’s feet haven’t touched the Jersey Shore in a year. We calculated the number of remaining days before school started vs. the number of days we are in town. We realized time was running out. “Go to the beach” was in danger of being left undone on our summer bucket list. We discussed, debated and finally decided to make a go of it…
We ditched church in pursuit of Sabbath.
We drove back to our house, changed into our bathing suits, packed snacks and loaded up the car.
Despite the urge to catch up on work related reading during the drive, I brought nothing but the novel I’m reading.
In lieu of Sunday service, we had church in our car. We sang worship music and did a devo together. We talked of the Trinity, what it means to be made in the image of God, and how to get to know Him better.
The beach was crowded but the weather was perfect and the water wasn’t too cold. I was able to sit under the umbrella and read. Every now and then I would look up and watch the kids splash in the waves. My husband I took turns manning the blanket and playing with our little ones. Instead of fighting the pull of my to-do list, I was happy fighting the tide of the ocean as my big girl taught me how to boogie board.
I relaxed. I splashed in the water with my kids. I watched them play monkey in the middle with their dad. I smiled, sighed, and said a prayer of thanks for moments like these.
We stayed long after the lifeguards were gone. When stomachs began to growl we packed up our things and headed to the local taco joint. It was truly a treat.
Exodus 20:8 says, Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Holy means set apart, used for a different purpose. One of my goals in observing the Sabbath is that it would be different than the other days of the week. A day when we are not governed by the clock and the places we need to be. This past Sunday was just that.
I hope to create more opportunities like these to slow down and appreciate the wonder of God… next time, without skipping church.
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