Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RUNNING ON EMPTY?

"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy."
~Exodus 20:8-11

As the wordiest of the Ten Commandments, this one gets my attention. In spite of its length, I find so little written about the subject. To be honest, I never used to give the Sabbath much thought. In our hurry-scurry society it seemed outdated. I kept it filed under "Old Testament...no longer applies". It didn't occur to me that God may want me to honor the Sabbath. I certainly had no idea that there were hidden blessings awaiting me if I heeded this fourth Commandment. So I ignored it. And I allowed soccer games...homework assignments...grocery shopping...you name it...to put to rest any thoughts about the Sabbath.

I had no idea I was cheating myself in the process. And in cheating myself, the people closest to me were paying a price, too. I kept myself in a perpetual cycle of "doing". Who has time to take a whole day off, I reasoned. What about the dishes? The laundry? That project for work? The errands? My list of excuses was long...very long.

God really does know best. It's taken me a long time to grasp this where the Sabbath is concerned. But I am starting to get it. This isn't meant to be some legalistic requirement designed to control me and how I spend my time. God wants us to keep the Sabbath holy because he knows how we are wired. Afterall, he designed and created us. He knows we are at our best when we take a day each week for rest, renewal, and spiritual recharging. He beckons us to plug into our ultimate power source and vamp up for the week ahead. He knows if we don't, we risk running on an empty tank ~ physically, mentally, spiritually. "Come away with me and rest," he calls to us. Shift the focus from "doing" and remember we are human "beings".

Why have I resisted this for so long? Especially given the fact that I am a kick-back, feet up, slow-pace, nap-loving kind of girl. "Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength...It is wisdom to take occasional furough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less," penned Charles Spurgeon. It's finally sinking in.

Sometimes my Sabbath is a Friday. Sometimes it's a Saturday or Sunday. Whatever day it falls on, it has become my favorite day of the week. But I have to keep it real. I am not submitting myself to a list of "Don't"s. Instead, I am slowing down. My Sabbath day is quieter, more reflective, and restful. I cannot begin to share in this entry all the blessings I am receiving in the process. My page would evolve into a chapter...or a book. But I will say that it's helped me to get my priorities in order, and energized me to fulfill my God given purpose with passion, and even a smile.

"He loves to see me contented, quiet, at rest, and relaxed. He delights to know my soul and spirit have been refreshed and satisfied."
~Phillip Keller

"Rest is a matter of wisdom, not law."
~Woodrow Kroll            

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