Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remember the Sabbath

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. - Exodus 20:8-10(a)

We're pretty busy around here. With six different people, all with our own responsibilities, all with our own activities, it gets to be a lot to juggle at times. I think most families are like that anymore. Going from here to there, every day, nonstop. Because we have to... or, really, just because we choose to. We can quickly take the time to fill our calendars, often more quickly than we take the time to fill our hearts with the very One who created us with a need for rest.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. - Mark 2:27

Busyness is like an epidemic. It's prevalent, wide spread.

Now, I'm not arguing the sabbath law here. We can have our doctrines and opinions on whether or not a sabbath is still "required" for the New Testament church, but that isn't what is on my heart. The truth of the matter is that we all NEED rest. We all NEED refreshing. We all NEED renewal. The sabbath fills those needs (and more) and so - law or not - the sabbath is good. Holy.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, - Genesis 2:2-3(a)

Like I said, we're pretty busy around here. For the last 11 months I've been running myself ragged. Working Monday-Sunday, 60-65 hours a week - and that doesn't even touch the regular "stuff" that I'm responsible for, the mommy stuff, the wifey stuff, or the ministry work. And I can't continue in this pattern any longer. I can't keep living without a sabbath day. At first I thought we would adjust. At first I thought this wasn't so bad. But I've hit a wall, and I can't do it anymore.

As I was praying one morning, through sleepy eyes and tired lips, it just kind of hit me. It woke me up, really.

You need to give up your job at the YMCA.

But wait... don't we need me to work there?

But... my coworkers, they depend on me.
So does your family. So does your church.

But I'm managing.

And then, recollection of moment after moment after moment that I have missed because I've been doing too much just hit me like a wave. Last summer with my kids - gone. Half of Elijah's last year in "pee-wee" football - gone. Most of this final year of school for Julie, though I'm physically here with her, I'm often too tired to even do much other than zone out - and it's nearly gone. Ellie wants me to play a game, but I'm heading out the door, and that time is just gone. Ruthie's first year of highschool, and the challenges and changes it brings, and I barely have the time to talk about those challenges and changes, the choices and all they mean - time gone. I've been so busy working through all of these moments, all of these chances. And then my marriage... my Bradley... we're just going through the motions here. Doing life side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Little time or energy left to give each other the face time we need, the face time we deserve. And rest? What rest? With just 1-2 days off a month, which is still full of activity because of the work of ministry, there has been very little time for me to find a sabbath rest. The time is slipping and, with each passing second, I am slipping too. 

Yep. Barely managing.

How did I miss this? How did I get so caught up in it all that I was blinded by the busyness, by the epidemic?

So I shared this revelation with my husband. Brad and I took some time to pray it over before making any decision (because I'm a girl, and my emotions often get the best of me.) Then we shared with family and with our friends. And wouldn't you know that our friends and family knew instantly what needed to be done?! There was no hesitancy in seeing the solution. They saw it instantly - which is always reassuring.

And then our weekend away happened (and I still plan to share more about that here in another post) and as Brad and I went through this time of retreat - a time not just about getting away together, but about addressing what we've neglected and working through the junk we have allowed to accumulate - it became so very clear, without a shadow of a doubt. I need to reclaim the sabbath. I need to let go of my job. 

So I did. 

Instant peace.
And I'm eagerly looking forward to that day of rest, remembering the sabbath. 

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