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A Deliberate Sabbath

A Deliberate Sabbath

I’ve been thinking more lately about what it means to observe the Sabbath, in particular about resting deliberately on a daily and a weekly basis, since hearing Stovall Weems speak at a church conference I was at in Tacoma, WA a few weeks ago. A few key points from the pastor’s talk:

  • We need to learn to rest in Jesus so we can make it through the storms of life a lot more peacefully. This is because we will remember Jesus telling us, “Let’s go to the other side [of the lake]” before we ever left the dock. (Luke 8:22-25, Mark 4:35-41)
  • We need to learn to say, “It is good” on a daily basis. There has to be a point at the end of the day where regardless of what is left on our “to do” lists it is good enough, and we leave the stuff to connect with God, our families, and to refresh our souls. We can pick up the work again tomorrow.
  • Sabbath is learning to sit and leave for a day the creating process of our work. This will not look the same for each person. For many pastors, for instance, Sundays are not a day of actual rest. So find a day where you can rest from your work and renew/refresh your soul. Then go fishing or for coffee with friends or to a movie, or hang out with your family at home. Do something to help you recharge for the next six days.

One of the biggest challenges for me in taking the past few Sundays off from my work is doing so without feeling guilty. Sometimes that is a well-placed feeling, for there have been times when I have lazed about when I should have been working. But what I’m discovering is that in choosing to take a day to rest, I’m motivated to keep my hand on the plow (in a manner of speaking) in the days leading up to it. Even taking some deliberate downtime at the end of each day is helping me to be a more disciplined worker overall.

And you know what? It truly is good.

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down." -Lily Tomlin*

*Photo Credit: Oliver Kendal ©2006 (Flickr via Creative Commons)

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