Why is it so hard to rest? I mean, really rest. Not, I’m-going-to-sit-for-an-hour-and-read-a-book-then-get-back-to-my-busyness type of rest. I’m talking about fully unplugged, I’m-not-going-to-log-on-to-Facebook-Twitter-or-email kind of rest.
Another question I’ve been asking myself lately: Why don’t I take the Sabbath/rest as seriously as God does? Take a look at these words from Exodus 31:
Above all, keep my Sabbaths, the sign between me and you, generation after generation, to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy. Keep the Sabbath; it’s holy to you. Whoever profanes it will most certainly be put to death. Whoever works on it will be excommunicated from the people. There are six days for work but the seventh day is Sabbath, pure rest, holy to God. Anyone who works on the Sabbath will most certainly be put to death. The Israelites will keep the Sabbath, observe Sabbath-keeping down through the generations, as a standing covenant.” (from The Message)
Put to death?! Really? God takes this rest stuff seriously.
But I – and almost every other Christian I know – sees the Sabbath as…well…as a suggestion. But there it is, plain as day – above all, keep my Sabbaths. Above all? Check me if I’m wrong, but above all seems pretty “not optional.”
I have a lot more questions today than answers. Questions like…
Why do I think the world actually needs me to produce something everyday? Do I really think God’s looking at my life and saying, Ok, everyone else needs rest, but I need you to keep plugging away? Am I so important? So talented? Such a gift to humanity? Seriously.
Is my lack of Sabbath-keeping really about my own pride and reliance on myself? If I trusted that God actually knows what He’s doing, wouldn’t I rest more easily and more frequently?
How am I modeling Sabbath/rest to my wife and kids? Did you notice that part about passing it “down through the generations.” Okay…that’ll leave a mark.
What does/should/could Sabbath look like in today’s world? Does it “need” to be on a specific day? Can a Sabbath be spread out during the week? What does work look like when much of today’s “work” is done in our heads, on a computer, or on a phone instead of physical labor.
Yup. Lots of questions. I may not have a lot of answers on this one, but if God values the Sabbath as much as His Word says He does, I guess you and I should keep asking the questions. Don’t you think?