So we established last week we need a sabbath – but how do we do it ?
The Old Testament has chapters and chapters about keeping Sabbath – keeping it holy – and most of it describes how to not work. When the law around Sabbath is introduced in Exodus 20 as part of the Ten Commandments, it says “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” and then goes onto say “Six days you shall labour and do all your work but the seventh day is a sabbath to The Lord Your God on it your shall not do any work”
If Jesus went explained say Sabbath was made for mankind – and thus kept it as a pattern to follow .However it seems we are really good at working and not so good at resting.
So here are my tips – most of them I learnt the hard way from doing the opposite
1. Chose a day that works as your Sabbath – if you work at a church – in whatever capacity Sunday does not count as a Sabbath – it is a work day. For a long time I had a Jewish like sabbath – 5pm Friday till 5pm Sat. It made me leave work on time on Friday night and gave me till Sat night service off.
2. Don’t spend time with people you are pastoring or leading- that is work . if you are with people you work with and you make a pact not to discuss work.
3. Turn off your work emails – none of us are that important that people need an instant response.
4. Don’t answer work calls (unless it is your boss – and if they are a good boss they won’t call on your day off unless it’s an emergency – every rule has exceptions- emergencies are just that- emergencies!
5. Don’t respond to work texts – I once had to say to a student after repeated texts ” I will get to it tomorrow I am having a day off” – she responded well and hopefully I modelled something for her
6. A new one I am going to try this year – disconnect from social media – the world actually doesn’t need to know how you are spending your day off ! You don’t actually need to know what everyone is doing or saying on your day off- a break from all the noise of social media cold just instantly make our sabbaths holy !
7. And most importantly – spend some time with God and some time alone and/or some time in nature or some time with people who refresh you !
I really don’t think Sabbath can be optional for those of us wanting to do a long journey and do it well. If you want to go hard and burn out – the fastest way to do it is to work 7 days a week! Occasional busy seasons require it- but a lifestyle without a day off is not sustainable.
Those are my tips – what are yours – help us all out and post a tip that has helped you keep the sabbath holy !