Sabbathing Part 1
We often translate Sabbath as a “day of rest” but I am coming to understand it as a bit more than that. It is not simply rest but rest with restoration.
What is the difference?
Often we rest just enough to be able to do again tomorrow what we did today. Just enough to keep going. I don’t think God ever intended for the divine mandate to rest to just be about staying productive. That does not seem either gracious or loving.
Instead what we see in the Old Testament is a demand, not just for Sabbath days, but Sabbath years and even Jubilee years where everything reverts back to its original state. God wants us restored in our rest. Restored not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
But it is hard. Hard in the extreme for some of us. Jobs that cannot be left just because you are not physically present. Family. Finances. For some even a vacation is about going from can to can’t and cramming in as much experience as possible. Our culture in America makes it even harder. We are raised to be doing something all the time. “Work hard, play hard” and “never quit” are the catch phrases of our society.
Yet, resting is a command of God. One of the Big Ten, right near the top. Repeated over and over. It was made for us, we are told, not the other way around. Keeping a sabbath is not simply about respecting God, it is about respecting his creation, us.
So what do we do? We have to be deliberate about it. Put forth the effort. Try. Figure out how to wiggle in with some degree of regularity something that actually restores us. It is not about being able to keep working, it is about being a whole and functioning person.
It is important to get that restoring rest.
And if you get it be sure to tell me how.