Friday, May 27, 2016

Too Busy for A Sabbath?

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

I woke up early this morning (which is my usual habit) and for some reason, I started thinking about my Jewish friends who would begin their Shabbat celebration this evening. Ah, a day of rest! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I thought for a moment that I should join in the celebration, but that nasty, 4-letter “B” word reared its ugly head. You know the word, don’t you? BUSY! I’m just too busy to observe the Sabbath.

I think we often wear our busyness as a badge of honor. Ours is a 24/7—multi-tasking—always on culture. Living like that causes us to forget the clear words from God through Moses to, “Remember the Sabbath.”

Christ followers seem to have more of a problem with that than our Jewish friends. Maybe it’s because the Church has never had a uniform view of the Sabbath. With the vast number of churches today comes a vast variety of views about how we should or should not observe the Sabbath.

Since we are on the go 24/7, we have become a Sabbath-less culture and it seems to me that it has taken a huge toll. We are so active, so busy, we don’t have enough time for relationships with family and friends, let alone God. 

Here are a few things I have done, and encourage you to do, to insure a labor-less day:

  • Block off Sabbath time on your calendar. I have found that if I don’t schedule for a Sabbath, it doesn’t happen. 
  • Prepare joyfully. Use the six days prior to your Sabbath to clean out your eMail box, finish chores, and run errands. By the seventh day, you are ready for holy fun.
  • Figure out what work is for you, then don’t do it on your Sabbath.
  • Pray and play. I owe it to Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, for this one. He explained pray and play this way, “No homework, no chores, no shopping—just time with family, friends, and God.”

In his book, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest, Alan Fadling wrote, “It takes trust in God’s faithfulness to choose to stop our work. When we choose soul rest, we are putting our trust in God’s work, not our own, and we then experience the gift of Sabbath.”

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8 [New Living Translation]

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