First thank you for subscribing. Second, thank you for all of the encouragement; from emails, to texts, and the kind words spoken in church, in my neighborhood and on line. Those mean a lot to me.
This is going to be a light week. It’s been busy. Many of you are on or have been on spring break. My kids start next week. Spring sports for my kids have started back up and with a few other projects life has been getting hectic. So, for me, it’s a good week to focus on rest. Specifically Sabbath-rest.
Sabbath rest may be a familiar term to some and from others a “What?”. Sabbath is one of those words in our culture that can bring up a lot of different responses; from “That’s weird”, “Are you in a cult?”, “Sabbath is on Saturday!”, “Sabbath is on Sunday!”, “We can’t hang out with anybody but our family on the Sabbath”. One thing I do know, is that I need a Sabbath. Whether that’s a few hours or a whole day, by myself, with my family, or with friends. I need what the Sabbath was intended for, a rest from my labors. Not just employment work, but the “work” that I put on myself. That’s “work” like, the “work” of worrying, the “work” of anxiety, the “work” of being on-time, prepared, and ready to go for the next calendar appointment, the “work” of the to-do list. I need to rest with my family, with friends, and at times by myself.
The article that prompted my thinking this week was 7 Principles of Sabbath Rest by Gavin Ortlund.
Gavin’s 7 Principles are:
1) Rest before you get tired
2) Have a rhythm to your rest
3) When you are resting, rest
4) Rest from social media and other electronics as well
5) Find a hobby
6) Find ways to rest with your family
7) Where you struggle with Sabbath, remember the gospel
Dissecting each one of Gavin’s principles could fill a book, so lets take a look at the first three. I really just want to combine those together. Getting into a rhythm of rest helps you to rest before you get tired and over time will help you actually rest when you do.
One of my favorite authors, Stephen W. Smith wrote in his book, The Jesus Life, “Here we see again the rhythm of Jesus’ life: Pour your all into your work; then seek rest, quiet, and solitude. Jesus knew that something would happen in His soul by disengaging from people and engaging with God—alone.”
If Jesus…..Jesus! found it necessary to rest, how much more do we need it! Our world is filled with distractions, noise, and molded black pieces of plastic (ok, your’s is silver with an half eaten apple on it) screaming for our attention. We are not made to be “on” 24/7/365.
Where to Start
Start with five minutes. Turn off your radio and phone for five minutes on your drive to work. Or,find a quiet spot (men we’re good at this, the bathroom?) in the house and sit for five minutes with no noise, no technology. There’s no agenda to this, no prayer to think about, no verse to meditate on, just breathe and relax. We are “on” so much we need to start simply and get used to quiet. The more we get comfortable to quiet, then we can listen. Listening for that still small voice that God promises. It won’t compete against the loudness of our lives.
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Until next week.
Put and edge to your life.