I wrote Wednesday that we’re back home from a long trip that was intense…full of new information, new relationships, hard stuff and steep learning curves. I feel like I should be full of energy and productivity, catching up on all that I missed while we were out of the country. But I’ve got nothing. The truth is, that with travel our spiritual and physical rhythms of health got all out of whack and what I feel like God is saying to me is “Sabbath”. So on this “Spirit Stretch Friday” I thought I’d repost some thoughts on Sabbath from February 2011 when Minnesota was having a more typical winter than we did this year.
This past week as the mega snowstorm swept across the country it was fun to read all the Facebook posts from people delighted with “snow days” – school, work, activities all cancelled. People were giddy about the gift to having to stay home and do nothing but curl up with cocoa and a good book…the treat of being forced to rest from normal activity.
I remember hearing someone say once that God wants to give us a “snow day” every week with Sabbath. Why do we resist? Why do we seem so addicted to “doing”… to being recognized for what we accomplish? Is it born out of a fear that being God’s beloved child isn’t enough?
I love what Mark Buchanan writes in The Rest of God…
“…God, knowing both our need and our folly, took the lead. He set the example. Like a parent who coaxes a cranky toddler to lie down for an afternoon nap by lying down beside her, God woos us into rest by resting.
‘For in six days the Lord the heavens and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the 7th day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’
God commands that we imitate Him in order to discover again that we’re not Him and that we need Him.”
He’s right. When I do Sabbath, I’m reminded of 2 things:
- I’m not God and the world won’t stop spinning if I’m unplugged (how sad is THAT – needing to be reminded- but I’m guessing I’m not alone). God’s got the God thing covered and doesn’t need me.
- I’m not defined by my roles, or titles, or responsibilities. I am a beloved child of God and that’s enough.
Observing Sabbath, I also notice I’m able to be more fully present. My Sabbath heart is better able to pay attention to God and others.
Mark Buchanan writes that when we don’t Sabbath we’re in danger of letting ourselves be “consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul.”
Eugene Peterson defines Sabbath as “shutting up and shutting down”.
What about you? Are you intentional about observing a Sabbath? What does it look like for you?