That got me to thinking again about the command we dealt with this past Sunday in our 10 commandment series on taking a Sabbath rest. Since we're looking at the positive force of these commands, we said that God has made us in such a way that we need this work/rest cycle built into our lives. God exemplifies that for us at creation (6 days of work, one day or rest. Now God didn't need a nap after all that work, or time to recoup, but he establishes that kind of cycle for us that do.) I think what he's saying is this: if you want to feel rested, want to live stressless lives (hey, God created everything, he can create new words--stressless.), if you want to remain connected with Me, if you want to enjoy life to the max, then you're going to build this same cycle into your existence. Work six days, rest the 7th.
And if that's true, if that day is really that important (and why wouldn't we think it was, all the other commands seem pretty important), then is it any wonder that we are so ridden with anxiety; so stressed out/burned out/petered out; feel so disconnected from God; feel so disconncetd from our families since we tend to fill every single moment of our lives with stuff to do. Is it possible that a lot of the reason we're sick or exhausted or losing touch with the people we love is that we have lost sight of this principle--one day a week that is used for connection with God and others, for refreshment, restoration, fun and just plain r...e...s...t. If there are consequecnes for stepping out of bounds on the other commands, there are certainly consequences for this one too.
I'm going to devote the next blog to how to keep a sabbath, and I think you're going to be very relieved that I'm not very legalistic about this, in fact this is more like giving you permission to take it easy. And some of you are already trying to negotiate the idea away (why do we resist this so much? You should be falling at my feet thanking me for such an idea...okay, falling at God's feet and thanking him, it's his idea after all.) Someone wanted to know if you took shorter periods that added up to a full 24 hours during the week or averaged that per month. Go back to the research about sleep--I'm pretty sure it didn't count as a good night's sleep if you took it in hour increments, or cuaght up at the end of the month. It just seems to me that's there's something about that chunk of time that's important.
Why not give this a try and see if it works? Yes, it may require that something drop out of your life. This isn't just another thing to put on your to do list. This goes on your don't do list. Put it on your calendar first, draw a big block around the day, don't let anything intrude on it. then fill up the other days as much as you want. And don't just substitute one kind of work for another. I'm telling you, this is a vital part of our emotional, mental, physical relational health that we have missed out on and have suffered because of it.
I now give you permission to rest!