You would think that I could just pick another day of the week to be my day off, but going into my third year of this, I can tell you that is far easier said than done. Whatever day I have picked has been eroded by slow encroachments. A meeting that could find no other time that worked for everyone, or a church related phone call made to my cell phone, an "emergency" email, or even just my own interest in a work project would serve to suck me into work on my day of "rest".
And then I have other work that takes over my day off - I usually still have to drive the kids to and from school and other activities, and I have to cook for the family, and a day off is the only good time to deep clean the house or do a home and garden project. When I attack my days off like that, actually just going to work at my office at church feels like a vacation from the "hard work" of being at home.
But, despite my demonstrated inability to actually do it, I do believe that there is a spiritual value to keeping the sabbath. Thinking about this problem, I have just read The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Although I am not Jewish and have never been particularly moved before by this theology, I found this book beautiful in every sense. It is beautifully written, with layers of metaphor and meaning and lovely prose, but it is also beautifully envisioned to begin with. Heschel argues that Judaism finds meaning not in space, and the material things that make up space, but in time and the eternity and spirit that imbues it. Time is its own phenomenon, separate from space and the events that occur in space in that time - time is eternal and holy.
"To Rabbi Shimeon eternity was not attained by those who bartered time for space but by those who knew how to fill their time with spirit. To him the great problem was time rather than space; the task was how to convert time into eternity rather than how to fill space with buildings, bridges, and roads; and the solution to the problem lay in study and prayer rather than in geometry and engineering."
I still don't know how I would keep a Sabbath day - it seems more practical to me to start out small with even a Sabbath evening or just a Sabbath Hour - but I have some new thoughts as to why I would want to. Time filled with spirit, rather than bartered for space or the material things is a moving goal.