As I write this blog I am sitting in my Son's dining room at 6:00am...drinking coffee...praying...and writing this article. It is my second day of vacation, and I am for the first time in almost 36 years of marriage taking some time off...by myself. I have never vacationed without Dorothy. Why am I doing this? Because my wife told me to! Sounds like she was ready to get rid of me for a while! Our schedules just did not coincide, and my church is very generous with vacation time, and I just needed to schedule some time away. Dorothy recognized my need to recharge a bit and was insistent on my taking some time to reset my 'internal computer'. So, here I am, resting. It would be somewhat hypocritical for me not to do so since this past Sunday I preached from a text where Jesus encouraged His men to "get some rest" (Mark 6:30-44)
Rest is important because our bodies, our minds, our brains, and our hearts, (Both physical and spiritual) need to slow down. You and I are living in a world where the information our brain is asked to process and contemplate is never-ending. It used to be a full-time job simply keeping up with our lives, yet now, through social media, we have to keep us with everyone else and their world as well. We never slow down and we really never have time to process. We are as busy as we have ever been with activities, jobs, church, functions and quite frankly, it has for some, reached the point of absurdity! This is the reason God gives us the principle of rest. He demonstrated this Himself when through creation God "rested" (שָׁבַת) 'šaḇaṯ' (Gen 2:2) This is the word we get the term "Sabbath" from. It means to cease from activity. To stop, to pause, to reflect, to recharge. God demonstrated this through a day. In the law, he prescribed this day to be "Holy" or set apart. This means this is a day dedicated to him. For the Jewish people, it was Saturday. For New Testament believers is Jesus, honored on the Lord's Day, which is Sunday. The point of this article is not to do a bible study on Sabbath, yet to encourage us all 'to Sabbath.'
You and I are living in a world where the information our brain is asked to process and contemplate is never-ending
See, here is my concern for you. I think you're tired! In fact, you're frazzled. You may be to the point of exhaustion and even breaking. Your brain and your body need to rest. Jesus understood this for His disciples when He commanded them to "get away to yourself, to a quiet place and rest a while'. The crowds and the pressure of ministry had become too much. They needed to "Sabbath." So do you...yes you...I am talking to you. This is the way we are wired, this is the creative order. Now Sabbath may look different to different people, but it will always involve the following:
Interrupting the ordinary
Changing the routine
Even more sleep
You get the idea...
May I suggest the following helps in you taking 'sabbath' time for you and your family?
1. Be proactive! Schedule time to 'slow' down or even 'stop.'
2. Take a nap! I mean it...schedule 15-20 minutes a day to just close your eyes and rest
3. Rest well...by this I mean GO TO BED! Your body and brain need 6-8 hours of sleep. Turn the TV and media off 30 mins before you go to bed. Wind down and sleep.
4. Spend time with the Lord. You need at least 20-30 minutes of quiet, restful time reading the Bible, studying the bible and prayer. Make that happen!
5. Honor the Lord's day. What I am going to say is not going to set well with many of you, but I say it out of love. Quit all the 'busyness' on Sunday. You have all week to shop, play, travel and work. Let the Lord's day be a day of worship, rest, family and stillness. Enjoying life on Sunday is okay. I have no issues with eating out, enjoying a football game (If that is possible as Cowboys and Texans fans!) or even a good movie. However, throw out the clock and schedule, make worship and one another your priority!
6. Exercise, eat right, read, relax and enjoy your time with family
7. Spend time with the people you love.
8. If married...date your spouse. Spend time together.
9. If single ...hang out with friends...especially Jesus!
10. Work hard...I mean really hard...then don't! Set it aside for a time of rest.
So there you go...get some rest. Jesus did and so should you...and so should I. Hey! I am on vacation, and I hear a nap calling! See you again next week!
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