Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Need for a Sabbath Rest

What did you do with your Sunday this week? Was there lawn work to do? Household Chores? Sporting events to attend? Shopping to get done? Maybe you had to finish up work from the office, or perhaps you physically had to be at work. We live in a 24/7 world. Sunday often feels like just another day, a mere continuation of the week in which we need to see how much we can fit into one day. We may even claim that we are relaxing, but we even tend to relax in fast-forward. There are so many places we need to be - sporting events for our children, parties to attend, people to see, and the list goes on. I'm tired just thinking about it. Sometimes I feel like I need a rest from the rest!

The Bible tells us that God created the world in six days and then took a break. "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation." (Genesis 2:3) Yes, God took a rest, but we don't seem to feel we are entitled to the same. The little voice in our heads tells us there is something more to be done. Indeed, there usually is. The to-do list is not a figment of our imagination. The fact is, though, that while there are always things that could be done, they do not necessarily need to be done right now. The world will not come to a crashing halt if we step out for a little while. We need rest, true rest, to engage in recreation, a re-creation of our spirit. We need to quiet our souls, engage in prayer, and reconnect with nature even if it is just by sitting in our backyard or by staring out the window.

Most of us don't even know what it is to be still anymore. If we sit still for more than a minute, we feel unproductive. Yet, that very stillness serves a purpose greater than we realize. It gives us a chance to listen to our souls and the God that speaks to us there. It gives us the opportunity to pay attention to what is around us, to use our senses to take in this great big wonderful world that God has given us.

God was on to something when He took a rest. He gives us permission to do the same. In fact, God mandated it with the commandment to "Keep Holy the Sabbath." We have the go-ahead from the Almighty to take a break from the to-do list. The ultimate boss has told us to take the day off. Now we just need to obey.

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