Here is Day 14 of my Faith Challenge for work.....
Make time for rest today.
Exodus 20:11 "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.
How do you make time for rest? Your physical and emotional well-being need rest. We must find time for it. How can you make time for rest during the week?
Rest is not natural. It’s more natural to push ourselves to our limits. I believe we have to be taught to rest. We may crave it in the midst of running ourselves ragged but we will not choose it and make room for it in our life, unless we are intentional.
Looking back, I realize that I grew up practicing Sabbath. Sundays were always different from other days: church, lunch with my family, naps or watching TV, and then back to church for evening service. It’s just how it was. I think my parents intended for us to rest but they weren’t strict about it nor was it a legalistic thing within our family. My parents also had a rule that all homework was done on Friday or Saturday so that we didn’t have to wait until Sunday afternoon and be pushing into our evening. Of course, with evening service every Sunday there wasn’t much time for that anyway.
Sabbath means “to cease” which means we cease all things we do on normal days. We cease regular work; we cease striving. God knew this. That’s why He set it up from the beginning. We were meant to work but not to work so hard that we are making ourselves our own god, not so hard that we are creating our own sense of security and identity. That is His job. He is our provider and through Sabbath, we learn to trust Him in new ways.
Jeff and I learned the practice of Sabbath from our pastor (now Bishop) as Jeff worked through his graduate degrees. During that time our little family always took Sundays together as a Sabbath but now, with being in church ministry, this is not possible. Jeff takes his Sabbath on Fridays and I do Sunday afternoons. I wish there was a way to do this together but it hasn’t worked out yet. Our schedules are a little odd and we work things out the best we can in this season of raising little ones as well.
For my Sabbath, I arrange my schedule so that I do not do my meal planning or grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon. These are some of my striving areas that kind of make me crazy. But I cease them on Sundays. I read, watch TV, take walks, and play with the kids. I seek quiet and leisure and sense of remembering who I am before the crazy of the week hits again. Sometimes I fold laundry but I’m not hard on myself about it. I like the rhythm of folding laundry as I watch football with Jeff on Sunday evenings. It’s calming.
Additionally, I’m a big proponent of rhythm over balance because with balance, I begin to compartmentalize my life and it becomes a conquering thing. When I get in a conquering mode, I forget to listen to God. Recently, soccer season threw off my regular rhythm that I know I can work within to keep myself healthy and functioning. I’ve been cranky and extra tired. After a couple weeks of some (whining and) asking God what I do now, I got the idea of late Friday nights away doing writing, meal planning, and shopping when the kids are in bed. This has helped make me even more ready for Sabbath. I’ve done the hard stuff of preparing for the next week on Friday night and all day Saturday. On Sunday it’s time to just be. It’s time to cease.