Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Keeping the Sabbath

Last week, I started a new Bible study called Brave, by Angela Thomas. It's my neighborhood study, which I've attended for years. Whatever Carol, the teacher (and one of my dearest friends) chooses as the curriculum is fine by me. Who wouldn't want to be brave, right?

So I was surprised when I delved into the first week's work and found that the topic was weariness. Actually, I wasn't surprised as much as I was struck. I've been weary for a while now, not just in body but in spirit, too. It really couldn't be a coincidence. Could it?

Well, in a word, no. There are no coincidences with God.

But just so you know, I am not one of those women who can say with confidence, "God told me to... (fill in the blank)." God doesn't really tell me anything. I sort of baby-step along, and if a red flag pops up or I feel miserable about something, then I pretty much know that's a NO from God. It's all very What About Bob? in my life. (Aside: What About Bob? is a funny movie if you haven't seen it. Very quotable, which in my house, makes it a good thing. Bob baby-steps a lot.)

Back to Brave. And weariness.

One of many excellent points Angela makes in this study is the importance of a Sabbath rest: "The Sabbath rest is God's gift to us" (p. 23). She goes on to say, "To observe the Sabbath we should worship the Lord and rest from our work. . . . On the Sabbath I rest from my work and all the words and studying. To make dinner for my family is a joy for me. It restores me. I believe I have permission from God to enjoy what feels like rest for me" (ibid.).

In years past, I've had more of a Sabbath attitude than I do now. Saturdays were usually errand and work days, and I left Sundays for reading or crocheting while Himself watched sports on TV or (yes!) even napping. All after church, of course.

But things have changed. My Saturdays are often busy with my children's activities, which leaves Sundays for school planning, errands, work around the house, etc. This is clearly not working for me. Why have I ignored God's gift to me?

Caught up in the busy-ness of our lives, I have viewed the day of rest as another day in which to get things done. And instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment, I've felt exhausted.

I need to get back into a Sabbath mindset. But what does that look like in my life? After a bit of thought, I believe it means a day of no planning, no schoolwork, no computer. I'd also like for it to be a day of low cooking and housekeeping responsibilities.

What about you? Do you need to establish a Sabbath practice in your life? Or, if you already do, what are your thoughts? Care to share?


  1. I too have been thinking a lot about Sabbath rest. I resist it, why? Also, too often my "attitude" about church is an approach of can do, must do, gotta do, have to...Need to live into this in a way that Sabbath is not just jotted down on my "to do" list. Great post, glad you like the study.

  2. We do manage to set Sunday apart to some extent. In practice this means we don't go into town or shopping, we try not to work, I definitely try to have planning done by Sunday (usually that's my Friday evening task). Our daughter hasn't got a manic social life, so if that comes about our Sundays may change.

    One thing we instituted when we first adopted our eldest, and that is: rest-time. We all retreat to read and rest after lunch. It is so beneficial.


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