1. Work Can Steal Our Sabbath
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Last March, many people cleared out their desks and headed home to work from make-shift offices in bedrooms, closets, and basements. This shift blurred the lines between home life and work life. For many, the distinction between the two became unrecognizable as business calls were taken during naptime, and peanut butter and jelly was wiped from laptop screens. My husband has worked from home for over ten years, so we are no stranger to what millions experienced this past year. It takes discipline and boundaries to keep work in its proper place.
You can rescue your Sabbath from the demands of your job, even if you work from home or even have to work on Sundays. That’s because Sabbath is not about a specific day of the week. It’s not about checking a box and moving on with your day. It’s about a heart attitude of reflection and worship that can be done any day of the week.
In fact, if your job demands a lot of your time, you may be the type of person who would benefit from a daily Sabbath. Set aside time each day to reflect on the character and person of God. Put down the phone, shut off the laptop, and rest and reflect on what God accomplished in your life that day. Praise Him when your day goes well and even when it doesn’t.
2. Our Stuff Can Steal Our Sabbath
Years ago, when my husband and I moved into our house, there was a lot to do. It was a new build, and it was quite unfinished—inside and out. There were no doors (except those required by code), no flooring, no paint, no trim, and not a single blade of grass outside. We even had plywood resting on the dirt leading up to the back steps as a make-shift sidewalk. It was “rustic.”
But it was also time-consuming. Make that all-consuming. We moved in when I was six months pregnant, so our lives were full from the get-go. Suffice it to say, we spent virtually every waking hour working on or thinking about working on the house. We painted windows during nap time. We raked rocks out of the soil with a baby stroller at our side. The to-do list was endless. We felt a lot like the people the Lord describes in Haggai 1:5-6. We worked so hard, but we never seemed to get out as much as we put in. And it wasn’t just that. Things were not going smoothly. It became a joke that we had to do everything twice. Then, independently, my husband and I both came to the conclusion that something had to change. Our priorities were all messed up. So, we said, forget the to-do list; we need to get things straightened out.
We rescued our Sabbath from our stuff by making some changes. We set aside one day a week (it was usually Sunday). We went to church. We spent time with extended family. We went to parks. We rested, and we reflected. And we didn’t work on the house at all. We sacrificed 1 out of 7 days--and you know what happened? It shouldn’t be a surprise because the Bible told us what would happen in Malachi 3:10.
When we gave God what was rightfully His, He blessed us. We found that when we did work on the house, we were more productive. Sure, frustrations still arose, but they didn’t seem to matter as much because our priorities had shifted. But that shift required a choice. A choice to pick God’s way over our way. After all, Jesus clearly said that we are to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but we are also to give to God what is God’s (Mark 12:17). The Sabbath is His, not ours. And when it resides with the rightful owner, life is better.
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