While on vacation, I read a book called Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller – about Sabbath-keeping. She also has a blog and a regular Friday email with prompts for the week. This week’s email started her Advent theme, and these 3 questions about the Christmas hustle and bustle resonated with me – maybe they will for you as well?
Is this opportunity/activity/action essential as I wait for Jesus to come?
Is my heart focused more on giving presents than being in God’s presence?
Is my yes to opportunity/activity/action about being the gift or more about guilt?
Sent from my iPad
I realize that the concept of Sabbath might be completely foreign to you, or might have legalistic connotations involving more restrictions than freedom. But give Sabbath a chance. It’s said that when asked which of the Ten Commandments was the hardest to keep, the rabbis chose this one – to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” over all the other nine. Why? Because we intuitively know we shouldn’t murder, lie, steal, or want our neighbor’s possessions for our own. We know we should treat God and our parents with respect and keep our marriage vows. But setting aside one day a week to rest, when there’s unfinished work, laundry to do, errands to run and mouths to feed? It doesn’t come naturally. Which is why it may be most important to our mental, physical and spiritual health.
How would you feel on Monday morning if you had spent all day Sunday resting instead of trying to squeeze in as much fun and work as you could? What if one day each week was set aside to think, to create, even to (gasp!) play? What if for one 24 hour period you focused on family and friends, not in a guilt-ridden way, but with the goal of enjoying each others’ company? What if this day was the capstone of your week, a day you prepared for in advance by getting your “have to” tasks completed, maybe even including preparing the day’s meals ahead of time and eating on paper plates (or going out to eat)? Is it possible that by practicing Sabbath regularly you could become more of who you are?
It’s worth a try.