Remember the Sabbath?
In the “busyness” of modern life, I fear we have lost the rhythm between activity and rest. “I am so busy.” We say this as a badge of honor, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, and our ability to withstand 70 hour weeks a mark of real character. We convince ourselves that the busier we are, the more we are accomplishing and the more important we must be. Sunday services are interrupted with "important" texts and reminders of work and appointments - even that afternoon. But is this really the way it has to be? Does more activity really mean more accomplishment? To be unavailable to friends and family, to miss the sunsets and the full moons, to blast through all our obligations without time for taking a deep breath – this has become the model of a successful life.
Unfortunately, because we do not rest, we lose our way. Instead of BECOMING more, we are just DOING more. We base our value on what we can do, rather than on who we are. Are you making time for healthy “breathing” in your life? Our technologies make us available 24/7 to the demands of our work – if we allow it. If you exhale without having time to inhale, you will turn blue and pass out.
Embrace Sabbath days and times in your life. Wisdom, peace, creativity and contentment will grow in those times. Take a walk, give thanks for simple things, bless your children, take a bath with music and candles, turn off the telephone, pager, TV and computer – carve out those times for restoration and spiritual breathing.
Recently, on a Sunday night we had a violent storm here in Franklin, TN. Our power was out all day Monday. No Internet, no air conditioning, no TV or radio. So my wife Joanne, our son Jared and I spent the day cleaning up trees, talking to the neighbors and going out for lunch. An unexpected Sabbath.
I am fortunate to work in an environment where I see rabbits, guineas, woodpeckers, lightening, clouds, and neighbors. It’s difficult for me to find a refreshing pause in the midst of concrete, asphalt and honking horns. My work setting is the result of having a clear goal and a plan of action. I know what works for me. Have you been able to find the work that provides a balance of “being” and “doing?”
From the Bible:
“Remember to observe the Sabbath as a holy day. Six days a week are for your daily duties and your regular work, but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest before the Lord your God. On that day you are to do no work of any kind, nor shall your son, daughter, or slaves – whether men or women – or your cattle of your house guests. For in six days the Lord made the heaven, earth, and sea, and everything in them and rested the seventh day; so He blessed the Sabbath day and set it aside for rest.” Exodus 20: 8-11 (TLB)
Direction for Today:
How can you unplug your “doing” and enhance your “being” today?