Thursday, July 1, 2010

What does a Sabbath really look like?

In the making of this world, there was work. An idea, an inspiration spoken into existence. A myriad of sights, sounds and awarenesses sprang (or perhaps gently eased) into existence. Living things fashioned to cohabit a vast and variegated universe. I cannot concieve in my thought-space how one perfect being could execute the birth (gestation and labour) of everything.

The work was done with purpose and with pleasure. Enjoyment of the results of the labour. The work culminated in rest. That seventh, Sabbath, day became special because the work ceased and because the worker enjoyed.

How do we live out a Sabbath now? What does it mean to have rest, as is part of the LORD's commands to Moses. In 24/7 world is it possible to live out a Sabbath day for the LORD?

I admit I am puzzled and that I struggle to rest.

I admit that I hang out my washing on sunny Sunday mornings before church, because school uniforms need to be dry to be worn on Monday. I admit that I am not sure if  people look out the window of our church and tsktsk when they see me do it.

Being busy, completing tasks, ticking boxes and cultivating efficiency are often ways to manage feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, guilt and loneliness. Sometimes I want to be busy so that people admire me or what I do. Most often it is so that God doesn't think I'm lazy or faithless. So that I can be reassured that I'm one of the 'good' people.

As I stare in the mirror I am starting to see a Pharisee, a self-righteous person. I struggle to rest because I'm secretly convinced that I am God, and that nothing will survive without me.

I need to rest, need it deep in my soul. The purpose of work is not to define me. It's purpose is to sustain me so I can enjoy God and his work. 

I need to be dispensible so that I can rely on God.
I need to grow weary and heavy-laden so I can go to Jesus and have his rest.
I need to be a child of God rather than do child of God type stuff.

The truths I need to hold together today...
God values work done to serve, to provide, to care and to grow.
God values rest, work ceased, enjoyment and celebration of him.

How can I weave them together?

Rest is the fulfilment of work. When I rest, then can I really listen. Without the discipline of rest, my work is dead.

holy experience

(photo from stockxchng.)

No comments: