Keeping the Sabbath is attractive to me. I want to be a person at rest, and the Sabbath is God’s weekly gift of rest. I’ve been reading, studying, and praying about the Sabbath lately, and on a recent road trip, I had an unexpected mini-breakthrough in my understanding.
My husband and I were on a 3,585 mile road trip, and on this particular day, we had a 10+ hour drive ahead of us. We decided to stop every 1.5-2 hours to stretch and prevent burn-out. Since we were driving primarily along the Oregon coast, this often meant stopping to play frisbee on the beach.
Funny enough, it was these frisbee breaks that gave me more understanding of the Sabbath.
So here they are: three things frisbee helped me understand about the Sabbath!
I made a sane choice recently. Sane choices are not my default, so I always try to appreciate them (and point them out to my husband!) when they happen.
I started Wildflowers and Progress because I love writing, but I accidentally became obsessed with the other components of blogging. Writing shrank to just a sliver of what encompassed “working on the blog”. When I wasn’t working on it, my internal wheels were turning on what I “should” be doing.
I should be on Pinterest a bunch, I should be active in Facebook groups, I should be publishing new content every week.
Every. Week. Every. Monday. Like. Clockwork.
Then a few weeks ago, I made a sane choice. The lesson from it applies to so many different areas of life, and I couldn’t be more pleased – and relieved!
I used to be a board game flipper. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of the details, I suppose that’s a side effect of Hulk-ing. But either when I was losing really badly, or maybe after I had already lost, I flipped the board game and stormed off.
I couldn’t handle my frustration.
While I’ve outgrown throwing board games, I wouldn’t say that I’m cured. Extreme frustration can still put my projects in mortal peril.
As a recent example, I felt like I was walking a tight rope with my college experience blog post. I wanted to show that I was slow developing meaningful friendships, but without discounting the amazing people I went to school with. I wanted to show that I took my studies seriously, had fun, and traveled, but without appearing to brag. I wanted to get my point across, but without rambling. I wanted celebrate my overall experience, but without undermining other peoples’. I felt like I was continuously falling off the tight rope.
I became frustrated, and I was seriously tempted to trash the post altogether.
But surprisingly, something I learned from a baking show saved the day.
Thanks to California’s recent rain after the long drought, this has been my first season with allergies. I was in denial when the symptoms first hit, but it was (and continues to be!) allergies. I feel like I’ve turned into a walking billboard for Claritin.
Allergies are a funny thing – especially as a metaphor. I’ve been thinking about the term “allergic to failure” recently. I’m not sure where it came from, but perhaps it started with Eminem’s lyric: “I must be allergic to failure, ’cause every time I get close to it, I just sneeze.”
While Eminem may be allergic to failure in a metaphorically healthy(?) way, not giving it much attention, I think I’m allergic to failure in more of a clinical way.
By which I mean, I completely overreact.
When you have allergies, your body misidentifies an external element as dangerous and attacks it violently, which causes the symptoms we see on the eyes, nose, throat, skin, etc. Through this process, your immune system creates antibodies that sound the alarm every time you’re exposed in the future, and your body continually overreact every time you’re exposed to the allergen.
Even though the allergen is harmless. There’s no threat.
That is how I am allergic to failure. Not in a cool Eminem-I-just-sneeze-at-it kind of way, but in a I-completely-overract-and-will-cause-chaos-to-avoid-it kind of way.
Neither failure nor allergens warrant the overreaction I give them.
Starting around junior high, I was a little problematic. On top of having difficulty navigating the social ups and downs of middle school, I felt (as many adolescents erringly do) misunderstood by my parents and convinced that they were trying to ruin my life. To prove my point, I was explosive, frequently screaming “You wouldn’t understand!” and “You’re ruining my life!” – followed stomping and door slams. Not my finest hour.
Since I clearly wasn’t open to my mom’s input, she smartly sought out someone that I could talk to. She found a girl at our church about five years older than me who was willing to mentor me through this tough time.