Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Work of the Sabbath

Life is full. I resist using the word "busy" because it has too many negative connotations. I delight in and gladly welcome the wealth of opportunities that are before me at the moment. Yet. Yet, I am at risk of being overtaken, overwhelmed, overcome.

The To-Do list is long and growing while deadlines are fast approaching. I'm beginning to worry that I won't get it all done in time. I'm starting to fear that I won't do it well. And so I woke up this morning tempted to do something that I almost never do: work on my Sabbath.

You see, in crunch time, I start to think that if I put in a few extra hours on my day off, I'll be doing myself a favor. I'll be taking the edge off of the teetering pile of tasks so that life will just be a bit more manageable come tomorrow. After all, who can even relax while being haunted by waiting work?

Some days sabbath is easy--a welcome respite. But some days sabbath is hard. It is an act of outright defiance againt my sin nature--a refusal to believe the lie that my life work is more important than my life.

Sabbath is a brazen act of faith that screams, "NO!" to the spirit of self-importance. Sabbath is a peaceful protest against the tyrrany of the urgent. Sabbath is trust in action through intentional inaction. It is not a luxury for the lazy, but God-ordained time-out for the workaholic.

It goes against every fiber of human reason, stands in opposition to prinicipals of productivity, and defies the laws of time management. But Sabbath is probably the most fruitful weekly endeavor one can pursue.

And so today I will rest.

I will not work on PowerPoint presentations for tomorrow''s sermons in French and in English.

I will not write the final message for my speaking engagement at a retreat next weekend.

I will not download the conference materials for the European Leadership Forum that is just around the corner.

I will not work on the meditations for the Learning Community in the first week of June.

I will not read books for school, or write responses to emails, or compose a newsletter.

I will not bathe the dog or change my sheets, though both have been long neglected.

Instead, I will set all of those things aside, trusting them into the capable hands of a God who never slumbers nor sleeps. I will struggle to rest so that I can endure the rest of the struggle. And by my rest I declare to my soul, "You are NOT in charge! Sit still, be quiet, and breathe. The LORD of the Sabbath is near, behold him, adore him, receive him. There is no greater work than this."

Instead of working on the Sabbath, I will let the Sabbath work on me.

1 comment:

  1. A resounding yes. [Said quietly, reverently, a peaceful, holy hush a sanctuary for my soul.] Thank you, Jen. Your words are life.