“I just want to rest!” I commented to my friend Sunday morning. My mind, body and soul were aching to rest. Regrettably, it was not to be last weekend. I honored the Sabbath by attending church, but it was a whirlwind to get there, a rush the rest of the day until finally a collapse into bed later than desired. My plan to rest was thwarted by procrastination and interruptions to an already busy day.
I made a point to truly be present in worship. Listening intently, I heard the text and God gently prompt me about this topic of rest. However, unless it’s scheduled, rest comes only in very small doses.
But not this weekend. I have planned almost a whole weekend of nothing. Just rest, rejuvenation and being present with those I love. My anticipation overflows! The kids-not so much. Rest seems foreign to them. Nonetheless, I am intent on teaching us all to honor the command to rest, even if we have to plan it.
Many believe commands seem harsh. Guidelines, parameters and even rules are more user friendly. A command makes us recoil in discomfort. We do not like others telling us what we must do. Americans especially like to do things our own way, thank you very much! We’ll take your suggestions, comments, and even criticisms, but not commands.
God isn’t like us. He commands. The commandments are not like a salad bar: take what you want and leave the rest. We are to honor them all and His command to observe the Sabbath and rest is clear.
Why don’t we honor it, then? We know we need sleep, although sleep deprivation has been called an epidemic in our country. Sleep is important for our bodies and brains. But sleep is different from rest.
Rest is defined as stopping of work or activity, a state or period of refreshing freedom from exertion. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Yet we don’t make time for it. We’re so busy with many more important items, we don’t allow time to rest. We think we’re resting while we listen to music while scanning the internet or watch TV while reading emails. That’s not rest; it’s multitasking.
God-let’s repeat-GOD (Creator of the Universe God) commands us to honor Him and rest once a week. He rested (and didn’t even need to) and He wants us to as well. But no! Instead of doing what God commands, we selfishly pack our days off with just about everything but Him.
Let’s get back to honoring Him.
Let’s take one day a week to unplug from the world and plug into Him.
Let’s listen for His voice and guidance for our lives.
Many find this Sabbath rest uncomfortable. We train ourselves to be so busy, it feels unnatural to rest and honor Him with our time. But it’s what He commands of us. Our Creator knows us better than we do. Maybe we should listen and do what our mind, body and soul ache to do: rest.
I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” ~Psalm 40:8