My wife and I have been remarking that there seem to have been too many Saturdays lately. It’s not that we think there’s a calendar conspiracy — the days of the week roll around like always. But, with both me and Samuel out of school, just about every day has felt like Saturday.
You’d think that would be a good feeling, but we haven’t found it to be so. We sort of like our routines: during the school year, we get up early, and one of us drives Samuel to school. I usually head on down to my office at Campbell University, and Jan has the house (which is also her office) to herself when she’s not going to meetings, running errands, or involved in a volunteer project. We make sure that one of us will be home when Samuel arrives from school, and then he often heads out to play with a friend, or invites someone to play with him here. Most days follow a similar pattern.
Not so in the summer. I still get up early (our demonic dog sees to that), and I still have plenty work to do, but most of it can be done at home. Samuel and Jan can sleep later, but before nine, either the telephone or the doorbell will be ringing as the neighborhood boys look for their favorite playmate. Sometimes he might be at a friend’s house most of the day. Other days, our home feels like Grand Central Station: we’ve had as many as six raucous boys bouncing around the den all day long, playing video games and raiding the refrigerator until we sweep them out at suppertime — and then they come back.
This Monday, however, Samuel goes back to school, which is on a “year round” calendar. Having completed most of our summer home repair projects, I’ll probably start going back to the office at least a couple of days per week in addition to working at home. Jan will have a bit more peace and quiet.
As much as we long for vacation, there’s something to be said for routine, for regular work to be done and for a string of relatively predictable days. It’s the break in the routine that makes Saturdays — and Sundays — so special. Apparently God understands that part of human nature, the comfort of cycles and the need for rest. According to Exodus 20:8-11, one of the Ten Commandments sets a pattern of six days of work was followed by a different day, a day of rest and worship.
You can have too many Saturdays.
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.