The school year is drawing to a close. Summer is arriving rapidly! My calendar is filling up with events, vacation and family experiences that promise to bring laughter and respite over the next few months; or will it?
Often this next season of the year is portrayed nostalgically as a time of lazy summer days, lemonade sipping on the veranda, afternoons of daydreaming and families gathered on blankets for picnics. But I wonder, do we take the time to be lazy, sip, daydream or gather?
Does the very thought of slowing your pace challenge your idea of what it means to be conscientious, competent, or excellent? Are you caught by the mantra of "if I stop the work 'everything' will collapse?"
The biblical concept of the Sabbath is about growing in faithful confidence as we find a rhythm of work and rest.
"...God rested on the seventh day from all work which God had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it God rested from all God's work which God had created and made" (Genesis 2:2b, 3).
The Hebrew word Sabbath literally means "to cease." Just as God rested from creation work, we are to rest from our creation work - creating proposals, creating success, creating opportunities for ourselves, our kids, our families, our church, creating clean households, creating lifestyles. The Sabbath is an opportunity to break away from the pressures of everyday living. By allowing ourselves to stop and catch our breath, we begin to open our hearts and spirits to what we need rather than just what we want.
By design, taking a Sabbath rest is an act of faith. Faith that needing to rest is a good reason to relax. Faith that whatever we left undone will be waiting on us when we return. Faith that control is just an illusion. Faith that God is God and we are not. Faith that our rhythm of work and Sabbath will enlarge our spirits and energize our capacity to love.