Gratitude Day 215
Tues., Feb. 12, 2019
Mark 2:27 – Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.”
Hubby Rick and I are taking some Sabbath this week. We’re spending a few days away. Most importantly? We’re not feeling guilty about it.
People need Sabbath. People need downtime. Most of us live drive-through lives, filled with too many commitments, too much consumption and too little time to just be. So, we’re intentionally taking some Sabbath time to recharge our souls.
Most people call it vacation. While I sometimes still do, I really try to use more of the Sabbath mentality. What’s the difference? Sabbath is providing your heart and soul opportunities to slow down and get filled with those things that give you life, rather than filling out days with things that drain us. For some people, vacation and Sabbath can be the same. For me, going into this time, I want my heart and soul to be prepared to unwind, decompress and get refueled.
It’s easy to fill our lives so full that we think we don’t have “time” for Sabbath. Or that we don’t need it. I’m here to say: please, please, please rethink this. To help you think about why Sabbath is important, here are my “Top 10 Reasons why People Need Sabbath.”
- Sabbath gives our souls permission to say, “This is what I WANT to do today.” Too often, we feel our days may be filled with things out of our control. In Sabbath, we choose to take a nap and not feel guilty. We decide eat dessert first. We fill our days with opportunities to choose exactly what we want to do. If you are taking Sabbath with another person/people, yes, there will be some negotiating. But even with other people, you can make choices just for yourself.
- Sabbath provides opportunities to make memories. Hubby Rick often says this: life is about creating memories. He speaks of the time we rode bike down a particular trail. And when he drives by this trail while working, he remembers the great bike ride we had. Or we repeat stories about some of our favorite memories to each other and sometimes to others. While preparing for this Sabbath, we realized that we don’t have a lot of extra space in our luggage for souvenirs. And that’s OK, because we’re more interested in making memories than buying things to take home with us.
- Sabbath provides space to try new things. In our normal day-to-day lives, we may not create space to do those things on a bucket-or-other type of list. Sabbath time is a great opportunity to go ziplining for the first time. Or snorkeling with the sting rays. Or hiking in a remote place.
- Sabbath allows space to be with those most important to you. I love going on new adventures with my spouse. Or incorporating memory-making opportunities with our grandchildren. Giving those who you say are most important to you your undivided attention has great benefits. A short Sabbath will not fix all of a troubled relationship’s challenges. But it can be a window into potential growth.
- Sabbath time is a great time to spend with people who give you energy and life. On this particular Sabbath, we’re spending time with our dear friends, Chris and Michelle. We only see them every couple of years and usually for a short period of time. For several days, we’ll hang out with this couple and yet, have time to ourselves. We already know it will be a great time!
- Sabbath space gives us time to unplug. I won’t be checking my e-mail multiple times a day or monitoring other things much. And that’s OK! You won’t hear from me as much this week … because I’m intentionally unplugging for most of the week. As beneficial as technology is, we also need breaks from it. Sabbath provides a great excuse/opportunity to shut this down for a while.
- Sabbath should be filled with “being” time rather than “doing” time. Haven’t we all been on vacations in which we came back more tired than when we left? This is one of the differences between Sabbath and vacation time. Sabbath says, “I’m going to provide space for my heart to be with God.” Yes, go do some fun things! But also make space to just let your heart and soul be. Listen for God. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear something profound, or not profound, if you provide the space for this to happen.
- Sabbath times tells you and others that stepping off life’s treadmill is important to you. We can and will stay on life’s fast-pace treadmill as long as we allow this to happen. When we say to ourselves and others that Sabbath time is important, we’re naming something that we have determined as important. We need to say this to ourselves as well as others. Then, we’ll begin to believe it.
- Sabbath gives our heart and soul an opportunity to be refueled. We know that our car cannot go forever without fuel. When the gas gauge gets near empty, we know it’s time to find a gas station and refuel. If we’re smart enough to know this, why aren’t we intelligent enough to figure out that our gas tanks need regular refueling as well? Too often, we go through life running way to close to empty. Sabbath provides space to refill the tank.
- Jesus practiced Sabbath. And it’s a pretty good example for us to follow. If you follow the events in Jesus’ public ministry, it doesn’t take long to discover times that Jesus went by himself to pray and be with God. If the Son of God thinks this is a good idea, why shouldn’t we? If the Son of God needed refueling and recharging, shouldn’t we as well?
I know that getting away for a week of Sabbath may seem daunting to some. Whether you are able to do this or not, we still can find ways to build Sabbath into our lives; smaller blocks of time and space where we can refuel our lives. I pray that you take a few minutes today and block off a Sabbath opportunity.
People didn’t create Sabbath. God did. And it’s one of those things that I’m discovering as not optional in my life, but necessary.
Holy God – thank you for the wonderful example of Sabbath in Jesus’ life. Too often, we think we don’t have “time” for Sabbath. Place in our hearts the deep understanding that Sabbath is as necessary and eating and sleeping. Amen.
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