As we are racing into a New Year many of us feel the need to set goals and revisit dreams and vision. I have set goals for 2014 – however more than anything I am feeling the need to make sure the “big rocks ” are in place before I worry about anything else .( from Stephen Covey http://www.scc.k12.wi.us/District/Big_Rocks_Stephen_Covey.pdf )
When it comes to thinking about 2014 I am challenged again to make sure I have a Big Rock in place called Sabbath. I also promised I would write about this in an earlier post. Top Ten Boundary Tips
When I first came back to church as a 19-year-old, we were all about freedom and not following the law. We threw out anything that we thought was vaguely legalistic. Somehow in my mind that included any concept of a Sabbath. We were going hard or going home, there was time to sleep when we were dead – we were young , zealous and actually pretty stupid.
I actually managed to live like this for quite a long time . Then at the end of one year I felt totally exhausted and my normal vacation time did not seem to work its magic. I felt the Holy Spirit come and convict me that I needed to make sure I kept the Sabbath if I wanted to finish the race well and feeling good and in good health
I read the verse where Jesus says “Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). This got me thinking in a new way and caused me to make a major lifestyle change.
If the Sabbath was made for man, then we must need it. We must need at least one day off during the week to rest and rejuvenate. Jesus fulfilled the law but Sabbath, although contained in the law, predates law. It is a creation ordinance. God rested on the seventh day setting in place a pattern of living. Then to reinforce it , Sabbath is part of the 10 Commandments and the law. (Interestingly as my Pastor, Phil Pringle recently pointed out – we are totally fine with a moral code based on most of the ten commandments – but not all of them, in 21st century life we struggle to take a day off.
It actually take faith to take a day off. It takes us letting go of one day of earning potential or one day of sometimes much needed paid or unpaid overtime to get the job done . It takes us trusting God that he can take care of our needs as we rest. It is letting go of some control and doing what God has set in place. As particularly western culture screams at us to work harder -particularly in a post recession world where there is more work, less money and less job security – a day off can seem foolish.
For those of us in ministry it takes trusting God with our people and our projects that He will actually be Lord as we rest !
For those who are high level lay ministers and hold down another full time job – it means making sure that you don’t commit ourselves beyond our ability to keep rest in place- no matter the desire to build the kingdom.
As you consider 2014 do you have Sabbath in place – a day of rest ? God created it for you , you are not superwoman or superman you cannot work without rest. Carve out a day off a week and see the difference.
Next week – Tips to keeping Sabbath – things that I have found work for me and maybe will for you!
(Sabbath and Vacation time are precious to me- the photo above is from a recent family trip to Western Australia- that is a my breakfast and dinner view from the place my sister took us to as a Christmas present for 3 nights in Margaret River- so blessed)
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