The Essential Sabbath

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American culture is full of BUSY!!  We have adopted this badge of honor called “busy-ness.”

“Hey Andy, How you doing?”

And my response is usually something like, “I’m doing great.  Just super busy doing stuff.” And somewhere in my subconscious mind I truly believe that I’m more valuable when I’m busy.

We’re too busy to pick up the phone, so we invented texting.
We’re too busy to walk down the hall in the office, so we invented computer chat messages.
We’re too busy to walk in the restaurant to eat, so we invented drive through.
We’re too busy to wait on the coffee to brew, so even Starbucks has instant packets.

It’s like the world keep spinning faster and faster with no end in sight.

We have stored this un-realistic idea in our life’s rhythm that the busier we are, the more we win.

And win at what?

The Modern Sabbath

The idea of taking a Sabbath can be traced back to the ancient Jewish tradition of Shabbat.  I had an opportunity to do Shabbat when I was with some Jewish friends in Israel.  There’s a method.  There’s a system.  There’s a mantra.  And then there’s silence.

It starts at sun down on Friday and goes all the way through Saturday.

There’s no work.
There’s no computer.
There’s no cooking.
There’s nothing…just being.

In our world today it seems odd that someone would carve out such a long time of nothingness, but that’s the irony.  In just being, we learn what it means to be human.  We put down our need to produce and just enjoy being.  A friend of mine characterizes it like this, “God didn’t create human-doings, He created human-beings. And we’ve warped the creation to such a myth that God will actually love us more the busier we are. It’s just not true.”

The Sabbath was created for a day of rest, and as humans we have a real need to be people who re-charge, re-think, and recover from the insane schedules we try to keep.

A Sabbath from What

An easy way to start participating in a day of rest is to find something you enjoy doing that gives you life.

Ask yourself, “What do I do in my life that actually breathes life to my soul?”

For some it’s sitting on the back porch and enjoying the summer afternoon sun.
For some it’s swimming in the lake, or skiing behind a boat.
For some it’s riding a bike, taking a hike, or enjoying the sound of a river go by.

Whatever it is that takes you to the ‘Happy Place’ of life, take some time during the week and go there.

It doesn’t have to be a grand vacation where you spend a lot of money.  Maybe it’s just reading a book in the quiet of your home.  Or maybe it’s gardening in the backyard to simply ‘be.’

It’s a necessary component of our existence that we take some time and remember that life isn’t supposed to be bound by stress or pressure, but enjoyed inside of the creation.

A Sabbath with Whom

A day of rest also needs to have a component of safe relationship.

Imagine families sitting around the kitchen table working on a puzzle together.
Or, what might it look like for friends to enjoy a new adventure together.
Maybe it’s just a short time at your favorite coffee shop talking with a friend about the joy of life.

Whatever your day of rest looks like, try to incorporate that rest with people who you find rest with.

Too often we think we ‘have’ to spend time with ‘that’ person.  But if ‘that’ person brings an air of stress and pressure, that’s not rest.

Try to find a space where the people you surround yourself with give you the freedom to be who you are and who you were designed to be.

We all need a time out.
Don’t shortchange your humanness by thinking you have to be busy all the time to have value.
Rest will supercharge your mind, your body, and your soul to be ready when the world picks up the pace tomorrow.

Let me know what you think

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