There is a phrase my husband and I picked up from the British television show Doctor Who. Said very simply and quickly, (and with an accent), it goes: “Pizza-Booze-Telly.”
The phrase invocates the perfect stay-at-home evening: a delicious (and comforting) mix of carbohydrates and entertainment. And while we don’t replicate it exactly (neither of us feeling pizza so often would be healthy—nor being inclined towards beer—nor having enough money in the budget for alcoholic beverages EVERY time we watch TV)—the phrase has nevertheless come to embody our mutual love of cozy evenings.
The recipe goes something like this: You say to yourselves: Shall we eat in the kitchen? Nah, let’s bring our bowl of hot-something to the couch. Shall we stay in our work clothes? Of course not. Comfy pajamas it is, then. What shall we watch? Nothing scary. Nothing intense. Something sweet. And almost kind. Nothing cruel, or corse, or unrefined. How about something British?
We sit, swathed in blankets and pajamas and each other’s arms, and we forget the aches of the day, the cares of tomorrow, and for just a little while life is simple.
I remember at times, in days past, feeling a pang of guilt that such evenings weren’t spent more productively. Like… reading. Time has replaced that guilt with thankfulness.
Our days (and evenings) are now what you might call over-productive. I have a twelve-hour day and get home from work late in the evening only to cook, clean, grocery shop, and fall into bed to do it all over again. Due to long commutes, I even read over two hours of literature a day. My husband likewise has a long day and late evenings of study for his two masters degrees. We are nothing if not productive.
And do you know what it’s made me realize? That leisure is a gift. That while comfort, when at the expense of work, is laziness, that rest from one’s toils is both needed and not always forthcoming.
We are not owed evenings of cozy togetherness. But in a culture where being busy is deified as an inherent virtue, I am reminded that we are called to live daily lives. Sufficient to each day is its troubles. Give us this day our daily bread. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.
I am reminded of Abraham—sitting out on his tent porch in the heat of the day, eating a meal with his heavenly visitors.
I am reminded of God Himself—walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
Perfect industry, taking perfect rest.
Isn’t that what He calls us to in the Lord’s supper? Come all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest? We break the bread and drink the wine remembering that the perfect sacrifice was paid for our guilt: that blood and sweat were spilt so that we might cease striving and find perfect peace in Christ.
So if you will excuse the comparison of the common to the holy, at the end of our daily labors there is sometimes (and not always) a kind of supper and rest. For a lucky few, I suppose it looks a bit like our pizza-booze-telly evenings. But for most of I suspect our rest takes different forms. It is when the busy mother cherishes those few quiet moments of bed-time story telling. It is when the father bows his head and prays over the meal. It is when the student puts his books away for a Sabbath Rest. It is in the few cherished moments a couple gets at the end of a long day. And always it is in the bowed head—when we who are burdened quiet our hearts, cast our cares upon Him, and remember: He has given you rest.
Let us meet those moments with joy—and accept rest with thankfulness.