Sunday, January 23, 2011


"Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy."
-Exodus 31:13

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
-Exodus 20:8-11

     Sabbath comes from the Hebrew shabbat, meaning "he rested." Shabbat derives from the Hebrew verb shavat which means "to rest," or "to cease." God doesn't just ask us to rest or cease work. He commands it. Think about it. Our great, perfect, holy God delivered His people from years of slavery in Egypt, performing numerous miracles through His prophet Moses, and afterwards, while they were all gathered together, purposefully gave them ten instructions to live by, one of which was to take a break from doing things. God values rest and ceasing to do work (after all, He did so Himself on the seventh day).
     Connect Rome's new series is titled "Busy Bodies," and it has made me re-think a lot of how busy I let myself get, and how much I neglect God's command to rest. I know that I struggle with resting. I feel the need to always schedule out my days and fill them with stuff to do. My planner becomes my second Bible, with a constant, never-ending list of things to do, so that even when I accomplish everything that I set aside to do for the day, I still have a mindful of deadlines, needs, goals, and stuff to worry about. The week becomes a long, tedious run-on sentence. No breaks. It's the culture we live in: we are encouraged and expected to always be productive, and people who deviate from the busy-body way are often considered lazy or unproductive.

This is a tragedy on so many levels.

     I find myself trying to take a break or a nap or enjoy some time doing nothing, but it almost feels irresponsible or unnatural, as if there are a million trillion things I could be doing to make better use of my time. Is there, though, something better to do than obey God? Obedience is the greatest way to show Him my love for Him and yet I so often disobey His command to cease all my work, business, productiveness, etc. and just rest in His beauty and peace. Resting requires one to stop trying to be in control of everything, stop worrying about how everything is going to be done, and relinquish it all to God, praising Him for all He has done, and trusting Him with all He is still doing.

On that note, I think I'm going to get some rest.

in His grip,