I woke up this morning in the middle of a sabbath—a deep, abiding sense of rest and peace. I don’t know why; it was waiting on me when the alarm went off. My mornings are usually like anyone else’s: The alarm sounds, I get up and stumble to the shower, eat breakfast. You’re probably familiar with the routine.
There is often a certain amount of wrestling that is a part of my morning “routine.” Get up or snooze? Prayer or shower first? Or Facebook and Twitter? I usually divide my options into the ‘good’ and the ‘bad.’ Getting up for prayer is good, snoozing and then going straight to the shower are bad. Social media is a mortal sin.
But today was God’s day to bust up routines. When my alarm went off, there was no wrestling. I hit the snooze button three times, each in the presence of God. I woke up bathed in his peace, and then I slept again. The word ‘with’ floated about in my mind. I was with God. I was not being delinquent or selfish. I was receiving a gift.
My whole life has been a process of figuring out how to be with God. I began with the prayer and Bible study strategy of the fundamentalist church, added so-called ‘contemporary’ evangelical worship style, and learned reformed theology. When God called me to incorporate monastic disciplines into my life, I found nourishment that has done a better job of sustaining growth and union with him.
Days like this, though, are a sign that true connection with God is a gift. I can bust my tail and hit all the “right marks,” but ultimately I find love in God because he poured it out on me. I find peace in him because he is generous. And the beauty of the gift is that it is always available to me, or to anyone who wants it.
My mornings will not always be like this one was, but I take comfort in the fact that the same God will always be present, with the same overflowing love. That being the case, I pray I am always ready to find the sabbath in strange places.