I thought I got it. I thought I understood well enough the importance of the Sabbath all these years. Hey – I read Mudhouse Sabbath, even got the Jewish perspective of the whole deal. Besides I know the value of rest. My life is like a whirlwind most days – in the best possible way. But I’ve learned balance.
I know all too well that if I don’t take it upon myself to stop the madness & get quality down time, God has no problem finding his own special way of laying me out flat! So as far as i was concerned, I got this Sabbath thing.
Well I was clueless. Shocker.
It’s not just about “NOT doing” and “removing”, but also about what we spend that time “DOING” … (and isn’t that the case with most everything God asks us to let go of, whether it be a person, a sin, a dream… the real deal is what we replace it with – Him, Him, and oh yeah… Him.)
Here’s a quote I gleaned from Sunday morning:
Sabbath is not about time off or a break in routine. It is not a mini-vacation to give us respite so we are better prepared to go back to work. The Sabbath is far more than diversion; it is meant to be an encounter with God’s delight. If a Sabbath is merely time off from work, it is, as Eugene Peterson called it a “bastard Sabbath”, a secular Sabbath – far from what God wants His creation to enjoy.
(ok here’s where I got smacked upside the head)
We’ve misunderstood the “rest” aspect of Sabbath. God didn’t need “rest”, so what is it that God “rested” from? God’s rest – and thus ours – was a change from making creation, to a delightful and joyous celebration of his creation.
(GOD DIDN’T NEED REST!!??? derrrrrr… so what’s the point???)
The Bible presents the Sabbath as a day to celebrate cessation from soul destructive activities. It is also a reminder of the inclusiveness of grace – all creation rests… The Sabbath is to be a day dedicated to delight.
What would you do with a day dedicated to delight? What would you do for twenty-four hours if the only criteria were to pursue your deepest joy?
(Perhaps that would include) …
Lighting candles, smoking a pipe, drinking good wine, finger painting, taking a hike, reading a novel, fly fishing, an imaginary adventure on the lawn, or eating the best of food…. What beauty will you explore and get lost in during this day of celebration? What beauty will open your eyes… in order to increase your awe and gratitude?”
Not only is Sabbath a day of play, it is also a day of pretense –
we are to pretend and play on Sabbath as if the new heavens and earth were here.
sooooooo, live like He’s risen? : )
A new theme for my life since this year’s Lent experience: “livin like He’s RISEN!!” It’s been appropriate response of celebratory and joyous attitude to Christ’s death defeated and His life confirmed… in me.
Sunday happens to be the day I celebrated the Sabbath this particular week.
My Sabbath looked like this…
- Church (my favorite place with my favorite people…parentals on my right, bestie on my left)
- Worship (including favorites! The resonation of Marvelous Light in my very soul will never get old, and Come Thou Fount rises something humble and victorious up in me every time)
- Communion (remembering… honoring…)
- Brunch / Shop Strolling in the Paseo (B-E-A-Utiful!! & scrambled eggs w/ chees & bacon are my breakfast drugs of choice)
- Nap ( YUMMY!! my sore body fell fast and deep!)
- Thai dinner (again, yummy!)
- Massage (desperately needed)
- Motorcycle Ride (just exhilerating!!! & the tangerine sunset is embedded in my mind still)
- Cheddars (Burger, Fries w/ ranch, Pina Colada, & Basketball)
- home. : )
A perfect day.
But how much more perfect to enjoy with a better understanding and a more intentional look at the abundant life of blessings that surround me…
To look upon the previous 6 days of my life and know that I worked hard, even through a couple lunches; I worked out & danced hard and have the bruises to show for it; I fought hard – for my quiet time, for especially for quality time with Jacey…
I didn’t create the universe.. orrrrr anything for that matter, but I did seek to work wholeheartedly . So I can honestly say, it’s nice to stop all the grinding, to jam a stick in the wheel and jolt face forward into the blessings that abound – and to just enjoy the love of my Father in those things and people He’s allowed me
This life is amazing. This life is complex and beautiful and terrible and mysterious. My one hope, my tried and true constant is Christ.
I can have a blast, I can do great things, I can go to beautiful places, I can even make a difference and live an extraordinary life…. and I want to! Plus, the last time I counted I still have just one life so I’d prefer to make the most of it. But I refuse complacency in awareness. I refuse to get on the other side of this life and have lived so hard and fast that I can’t recall His presence, His voice, and the feel of His goodness every single day of the journey.
I desperately need the Sabbath-induced rest to stop me in my tracks and let me catch my breath.
But even more than I need to cut out all the hustle and bustle of deadlines and agendas,
I need to be still. I need an awareness of His presence.
I need to be still. I need an awareness of His goodness.
I need to be still. And know that He is God.
The Sabbath is good for this.
And GOD… He didn’t NEED rest. So why? Why all the creating of the Universe and all that that entails for 6 days and then just stopping. Why the commandment to begin with? What was HE doing that 7th day? And what of all those 7s huh? 7 days, 7 years, 7×7 years??
To think that God purposely took the day off and yet HE DIDN’T NEED TO REST!! (ok so maybe that little revelation blows my mind too much. But dang.)
Wesley puts it this way…
God… took a satisfaction in the work of his own hands. He did not rest as one weary, but as one well – pleased with the instances of his own goodness.
I, too, am quite satisfied with the work of His hands.
I, too, am well-pleased with the instances of his own goodness.
After this Easter, I found myself challenged to live every day, like He’s risen…
And it seems only natural for now every Sabbath …
whether it be via a motorcycle ride, a patio lunch, a good glass of wine, or sharing a book with Jace… I’m encouraged to deliberately spend the day pursuing not only rest, but wonder… intentionally embracing His abounding perfect goodness that I see all around me.
Just like my Father did on His day off. Same, same. : )