On the Sabbath-
we learn that efficiency is
not God’s highest goal for
Hate him or love him, I believe that Rob Bell has correctly described both what our Sabbath should be as well as why we need a Sabbath. Far too often in our lives we buy into the worlds message that the most important aspect of our life is our efficiency. We run around 7 days a weeks trying to cram as much into the 168 hours we are given in a week. We find ourselves complaining about not having enough time in our days or wishing that God would just give us a 26 hour day so we could accomplish more. Rarely do we stop and think about if we are trying to do too much or if we are scheduling God right out of our busy lives.
In the fall of 2010 I was finishing up my job as a youth director after being let go due to budget cuts. My wife and I were packing up our apartment, Amy was graduating college, and we were preparing to move from Portland,OR to Littleton, CO. Needless to say life was chaotic and I felt as though we were constantly busy. It was during this same time that I listened to a lecture Rob Bell had given to graduate level counseling students at Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle(there is no relation to the church). Bell was explaining to the students that we all have ingrained in us a need from our Creator for rest in our lives, The Bible is very clear that we are commanded to take a day of rest, a Sabbath every week. As Christians we try hard to follow the instructions we are given in the Bible, however, too often we ignore God's call in our lives for a Sabbath. We come up with excuses time and time again that prevent us from carving out intentional times of rest. One of the things that stuck with me from Bell's lecture was when he challenged the students to take a Sabbath. He informed these students that if they don' t begin taking a Sabbath know, when will they? If you can't find time this week to set everything aside and rest in the Lord then when will be a good time.
I was greatly challenged by this and felt convicted of the fact that I have never taken a Sabbath on a regular basis. As I began seminary a year ago I committed to taking Sunday as a Sabbath. The Sabbath for me would mean a day of rest, a day without the stresses of homework or work. Some Sundays this means that Amy and I go to church and then come home and take a long Sunday naps. Other Sundays I take time to talk with family or catch up on reading. Really there is nothing that I must do except be with the Lord and rest in Him. My Sabbaths have become a time of remembering that I can not do it all, that I need God to help me and am dependent on Him. While taking a Sabbath has at times been difficult, like when I have a huge paper due Tuesday, I have grown to love this day more than any other. God has used my commitment of the Sabbath to refresh me when I am week and amazingly there is always enough time to get everything done.
I want to challenge you this week to take a Sabbath. This may mean that you have to skip watching your favorite show in order to finish everything you need to so you can rest on the Sabbath. Your Sabbath doesn't have to be on Sunday, it can be any day of the week. I believe if you commit to giving this time to the Lord you will find that He will give you all the time you need and your time resting in him will become invaluable. May we all rest at some point this week in our Lord and Savior, and in doing so recognize that it is not all about us. Blessings, Jason