How many of us spend our lives as slaves – I do and I’m willing to bet you do too.
Harriet Tubman, the great emancipator of thousands of slaves in America, is quoted as saying “I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”
Today is Sunday and most people understand on some level the idea that Sunday is the Sabbath but very rarely will you find people who practice the Sabbath, even in Christian circles. It has fallen the way of old fashioned and passé ideas…
The Sabbath has fallen way to the cacophony of modern life…the lights, the buzzing, the insane pace.
So what is this Sabbath and is it really that important – isn’t it an outdated idea? Is it? I’ve just spent the last couple of weeks studying the Sabbath under Priscilla Shirer. There’s not enough time and space to do a complete study but let’s explore a couple of my thoughts (my blog, my thoughts, lol):
“We have to know when we’ve worked enough, tried enough, gathered enough, purchased enough, said enough, stored enough, kept enough, created enough, produced enough, generated enough, consumed enough, labored enough, expended enough, spent enough. Somebody has got to say “Enough is Enough” – Priscilla Shirer, Breathe
The Sabbath is intentional: – Gen 2:2 states that God rested. He didn’t just find himself with a few minutes to spare. He intentionally ceased his motion and rested. Does this mean we don’t do anything on Sunday? I don’t think so – I think a modern application of the Sabbath can be practiced every day – I also think it’s more of a mindset (read about Crazy Busy) than a legalistic requirement.
Stop: Cease Striving (can I get an amen) – stop your body, mind, and soul for a few minutes – or for the day. The word Sabbath comes from the Jewish word Shabbat which means a joyful day of rest – a highly anticipated day to put aside weekday concerns and devote to higher pursuits – read…things we enjoy. Things that refresh us, open our minds and creativity, things that are gifts. But here’s the other thing – I’m not talking lazy nor a Netflix coma. Those fall under enough is enough – they are mind numbing and a source of distraction. I’m talking about being fully aware, engaged, and relaxed.
Breathe: Once you are stopped – breathe. Best line I read this week was “I am breathing – I’m alive aren’t I” Glennon Doyle Melton – y’all know that saying – you might be living but are you really alive? Same concept – of course you are breathing – but what does your breath tell you? Is it rapid and shallow? Or is it calm and relaxed? What’s going on with your shoulders and jaw? Are your fists clenched? Toes curled? Again, the point is to pay attention and be aware – stop and breathe. But it’s also room in your schedule, your closets, your drawers, your life. Are you so jammed packed that you can’t even breathe?
Remember: How do I know God will be faithful? Because I remember all the times he has been faithful. I take time to remember all that he has done. I take time to pray and give thanks. I also remember where I came from – and continue to come from – where God is working in my life.
Up to this point the Sabbath is a joy – definitely an exercise in discipline to slow down – but once there – hasn’t it been nice and refreshing?
Listen: This is the toughest point – when I stop and breathe and remember – when my schedule is quiet and the clamor of technology stilled – there is silence. Definitely squirm worthy. This is the space where God and I meet – this is where the areas of my life that remain enslaved are examined. This is where I surrender – where I learn to Be Still and Know HE is God. This is where I become free.
Not gonna lie – the Sabbath is great on paper but it’s hard most days.
The hardest obstacle is myself…
My schedule – finding my worth in busyness
My desires – what I want when I want it – finding my security in possessions and wealth
My thoughts – my obsessive worry – my lack of faith and fear – learning to surrender
Take time to rest y’all…
xoxox – DM