Have you ever thought, “There’s never enough day to do what I want?” I do!
Life is full of many exciting opportunities. We have day-to-day responsibilities and never ending to-do lists. Depending on the season of life you’re in, you may or may not have more say about how you spend your days.
If you’re a young adult, your life consists of intense college studies, necessary work obligations and oodles of fun.
If you have a young family, your days are full of work inside and outside of the home, laundry, bathing and eating. Repeat. EXHAUSTING! Finding time alone is almost unreasonable.
If you’re a family that includes older children, your lives are in overdrive. The usual home and work responsibilities plus lessons, ball games, transportation to and from these activities, researching secondary education options and wondering how you’re going to pay for it all. Who has time for your own interests, let alone rest!
If you’re empty nesters and beyond, your daily life may look a bit different. Your days are filled with work and home obligations. If you're lucky, you may be able to experiment with new interests or pick up old hobbies.
No matter what season or chapter of life you’re in, it can be challenging to find balance. Sometimes, you irrationally think you can balance all our commitments like a juggler keeping multiple balls in the air.
Time alone seems impossible, let alone a day of rest.
REST seems like a four letter word.
Rest is God’s life giving, God breathed four-letter word.
We need our days to improve so that our lives can improve.
In Soul Custody, Choosing to Care for the One and Only You Stephen Smith inspires the reader to care for their soul. (This is one of my most favorite books! I read a lot and this book is at the top of my list). Each chapter addresses areas of our lives such as stress, choices, vocation and rest. These areas all impact our souls.
In the chapter Soul Sabbath, Mr. Smith states we need to practice being available to God by becoming unavailable to the world. Sabbath means to cease.
It was God’s idea to stop. He created everything in six days and then took a day of rest. God is God and He can do anything at any time and yet, He thought it important to take a day off. A day of rest is vital to our sanity. (Exodus 20:8-11)
(An interesting side note: the fourth commandment is longer than any of the other nine. Did he spend more time on this commandment because He knew we would struggle with this the most? I think so!)
The idea is to stop from striving and let go of the obligations that fill up your week. You get into trouble when you don’t listen to this wise instruction. You cannot sustain the world’s pace without consequence.
Sabbath is your opportunity to assess the pace of your life. Let go of the continual to do list and show up and be together. You detach from busyness and attach to God’s way. You reconnect with the forgotten parts of yourself, a part of your soul that needs to recover.
Choose Sabbath, Then Joy
If you choose Sabbath, then you experience joy.
“If you watch your day on the Sabbath
and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual’,
making money, running here and there---
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob”
Yes! God says so! (Isa. 58:13-14 MSG)
Notice the “if you do this….then this will happen” language. If you keep the Sabbath, then you encounter joy. You fill up with God’s joy as you are rejuvenated and refreshed
Imagine taking a day of rest.
It can look different for each of you. The purpose is to stop the activities that you have been doing the previous 6 days. I can hear your objections now.
“I don’t have time for that.”
“How will I get it all done?”
“That’s old fashioned and not relevant today,” and
“I just don’t know how to make it possible.”
Don’t Lose Heart
When you recognize the benefits and make a day of rest priority, it will happen.
Do these two things:
- Take one minute and write down all the benefits you would receive by taking a day of rest.
- Identify the top 2 benefits that will nourish your soul. Write each benefit on 3x5 cards in bold letters and place somewhere prominent. Such as your bathroom mirror or on computer.
- What challenges do you face when considering a day off from your typical week? Ask yourself-
- Are these real or perceived challenges?
Besides the Bible, many books have been written about how to observe the Sabbath. It’s a vital topic that when observed will bring you life and joy.
I hope you find yourself challenged by the promise God gives. The promise says, you will find joy when you take a day of rest.
I invite you to take the next month as an experiment and observe the Sabbath. Your day of rest can be custom built by you and God! If you want a little more guidance on how to actually set up your day of rest check out this article by Stewardship Team
Pray with me and ask God to show you how your day of rest can be.
Thank You for loving me so much that You gave me a day of rest. You know I need a day to slow down and stop my weekly commitments and responsibilities.
Help me trust your commandments and rest in your promises.
You know my objections to taking a day off. I fear things won’t get done; they will pile up and make things worse. Remove those fears and concerns from my mind. Help me to walk forward with confidence and to trust in you.
Lay out a simple way for me to rest.
I am acting on God’s wisdom. This month I will take one day each week away from technology. I’m taking the UnPlug Challenge. I will lay my phone down and not open my computer. I am resting, away from technology.
Are you with me? What kinds of things can you do or not do that will bring you life on your day of rest?
I would love to hear how God is prompting you to observe the Sabbath. Leave your thoughts and ideas below. What benefits you are experiencing?
“May you taste and see that the Lord is good,” Psalm 34:8