The Art of Sabbath
How many of us "unplug" on a weekly basis? How many of us after spending time on our phones scrolling we feel more drained than before we started? How many of us, "remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy"? It could possibly be one of the most forgotten commandments. And it could possibly be one of the most important parts of our lives. And most of us, if we are honest, are missing it.
I have been feeling this pull to understand this more. And of course, like only He does, everything I read and see keeps pointing me back to this topic. I love how the Lord does that. He gives us lots of moments to learn the lesson, and for that I am grateful. He is ever patient isn't He? But what I am learning is that our culture is teaching us, and our children that we should consume more than we create. Consume by watching TV, getting more toys, clothes, and treats. And no, I don't think any of those things are wrong, but it's the volume at which we have them that seems to be off balance.
When God first established work is was meant to be a blessing. He didn't give us work to hurt us, it was a gift to help us. To let us have dominion, to build, to create. But most people don't feel excited about their work. There is no joy and life in it. It has become wrapped up in the "American dream" of working hard to retire so you can go do a bunch of hobbies that you really enjoy. That was never God's dream.
Work has become Toil and it was never meant to be.
Work was created to make us come alive and to make the invisible God visible. There was never meant to be a disconnect between our spiritual life and our life...it's all supposed to flow together, to be together and work is a HUGE part of that. Having a job was one of the first calls to man from the beginning. To have a purpose and to do something great... now that is in ALL of us!
“We need to relearn how to power down, unplug, disconnect, take a break, and be in one place at one time. We forget that we’re not a machine. We can’t work 24/7.”
I have come face to face with my exhaustion recently. I can't keep up with the pace of the culture, the instagram feeds that I feel I need to live up to, and the demands of my life..my actual life, not internet life. Supporting Griffin, leading a small group, my free-lance writing job, taking care of the house, homeschooling, keeping three little girls alive while also teaching them about Jesus, the need for boundaries and why we don't sit on each other (Yes I really have had to say that) and the importance of washing our hands. All the while working out, making good choices, and somewhere in there chasing my crazy God-sized dreams! Phew...I am exhausted from typing this. I am realizing I need to get back to the way God created it all to be, especially the REST part.
Heaven and Earth were finished,
down to the last detail.
By the seventh day
God had finished his work.
On the seventh day
he rested from all his work.
God blessed the seventh day.
He made it a Holy Day
Because on that day he rested from his work,
all the creating God had done.
Genesis 2:2-4 The Message
God didn't rest because He was tired, He rested because He was done. He blessed it, and made it holy. So essentially, when you Rest you are Blessed. And when you choose to rest, to be done working, to turn it off, to unplug, you are honoring and remembering what the Lord God did. It's a holy thing to rest, to be still. God never intended us to work every day, that was never His design. He knew the limitations on our bodies and minds and rest is the GIFT for us. I have started a weekly practice in my life, it's a choice, and it is one I have to be disciplined with. It is the ART OF THE SABBATH. Once a week for a day, I turn off my phone, and I "get away" mentally so to say. I only do activities that bring life. I don't discuss things that bring stress or emotional exhaustion. I spend time with no noise, no music, no TV, no outer voices, just the Lord and me. And it has changed everything.
It's the incredible choice to keep your perspective Heavenly. To remember, the Sabbath, is to remember what is important. To remember the Sabbath is to essentially put things in their proper place in your life and to remember who you are and WHOSE you are.
All of these can be found in REST.
The Reality is we cannot let Rest become Leisure.
Leisure by definition is: spare time, time off, free time for your enjoyment.
Rest by definition is: to cease work or movement in order to refresh oneself, recover strength, to let up, to slow down.
So binge watching that show or meaningless scrolling on facebook or instagram...is that refreshing yourself? Is that recovering your strength? Is that helping you let up and slow down? Or is that causing you to feel jealous, to feel like you are missing out, to feel discontent, to compare and compete, to lose sight of all of who you are.
I pray you remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy. Learn the lost art and make it a part of your life. Unplug from all of the things that distract you from real REST. There is a way that God intended you to feel refreshed, and it will never leave you empty.
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