The Maple Syrup Sabbath

syrupI’ve recently commandeered the breakfast duties in my home. And today I thought I would try a french toast recipe. I’ve never made french toast before. Two hours later I regretted it.

The directions said to take them off the skillet–who’s temperature settings were a pure demonic lie–and put them in the oven for 8 minutes to make them puff.


They never puffed. I didn’t know french toast was supposed to puff.

So they were eventually done-ish and we plated them and I began the glorious task of drowning them with copious amounts of maple syrup.

Our bottle of syrup isn’t one of those fancy glass bottles in the shape of an antebellum woman with a turban on her head, rather it’s one of those 25 pound bottles you get at the local bulk foods store. In the winter time, people put these things in the back of their pickups for more weight for better traction. Seriously.

So I grabbed it by the handle and held it upside down over my 2 pieces of french toast and the syrup began to flow thick and fast. “Great,” I thought. “If it flows like this, I won’t have to squeeze it with the force of a garbage compactor and make it come out any faster.” It was a beautiful and efficient stream of manmade nectar.

Then a funny thing happened.

As I finished filling up one syrup pond on my first piece I moved it to the second and noticed the flow became slower. And thinner.

I did nothing different. I was still holding it by the handle. Still exerting the same amount of energy.

My maple syrup wasn’t flowing the way it was.

Curious, I turned the bottle upright and as I did, it took a big gloppy breath.

A breath.

It inhaled.

I turned it back over and it once again started pouring with the same magnitude it had at the first. I was overjoyed.

Then I began wondering how many times in life I was being poured out and my torrent of a river ebbed to a trickle. My efficiency deteriorated and my effectiveness became all rusty.

I was tired, mopey, and depressed.

Maybe I wasn’t using the right technique. Maybe I needed to squeeze myself more to work harder. Maybe it was my wife’s bad attitude. Maybe the lunar cycle was off kilter. Maybe if my kids were more obedient. Maybe if I finally got that raise…then I would flow the way I used to.

Or maybe–like the giant bottle of syrup–I just need a breath. A gloppy inhale of God’s life causing a quick and snappy reorienting of my life.

Maybe I need a regular Sabbath, an invitation into God’s rhythm of rest and life.

Maybe you do too.

And yes, I just wrote a blog post about maple syrup.

I may need another cup of coffee.

I like leisurely conversation, so please comment below and share, share, share.
Love, Pastor Jared


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