And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
— Genesis 2:2-3
I can’t believe it’s already August. Where did the summer go?!?! I remember thinking back in June, Yes! A break! Things will slow down for a while. But then I realize that’s not the case as meetings continue, programming changes, new events are planned, and life seems just as busy as it was during the school year. Is this only me or does that sound familiar to you?
Being busy has become the norm rather than the exception. The world tells us that if we aren’t busy, we’re not being productive members of society. If we’re not busy, then we’re lazy, so we fill every moment of every day with something. Some of these things are necessary, like running errands, going to work, or planning an epic family reunion. But then there are those things that aren’t necessary and are just our attempts to be or appear productive.
So, what if you had a day when you weren’t allowed to do anything but rest? For some of us, even the thought of resting for a whole day makes us uncomfortable. It seems like a waste of time when there’s so much that needs to get done. But rest is an essential part of our lives and of creation. When God was creating the heavens and the earth, the process was not complete until the 7th day when God created rest. Creation is not complete, our lives are not complete, unless we have rest.
When God created rest on the 7th day, it wasn’t sleeping in until noon or sitting on the couch all day that God had in mind. The rest that God created was called Sabbath, and there’s a difference between Sabbath and just chilling out. Sabbath is resting in a way that we put aside all of our daily worries, concerns, and tasks and focus instead on one task — being in the presence of God. This will look different to each person, but the goal and focus is the same: to actively engage in spending time with our Creator.
For me, spending time with our Creator involves spending time in prayer, thanksgiving, and worship. It means that I allow myself time to sit in the stillness and awe-inspiring presence of God, seeing the plants, animals, and people that God has worked to create. Again, Sabbath will look different for everybody, but what’s important is that we each take time to be still and to sit (or stand, or walk, or play) in the presence of God — to notice God’s creation and presence that is all around us.
But I’m too busy for Sabbath… We have so much going on… Our schedule is just way too full…
That’s the point. Take a moment. Take a day. Practice sabbath. Spend time with God.
Start today. Take just a moment. Breathe in. Breathe out. Sit in the presence of our Creator, Redeemer, and Inspiration. Welcome, my dear siblings in Christ, to a time of Sabbath.