Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why We All Need A Little Sabbath in Our Homes

Some people don't know what it is. When I tell people I'm going on a nine-week sabbatical they look at me like I'm speaking another language. Others think I must be doing this because I'm a pastor and that maybe I'm going to take some kind of pilgrmage to a foreign, mystical land.

For many the word sabbath only makes sense if it comes after the word Black. (Are they still touring?) But actually the purpose of sabbath or taking a sabbatical  is to rest and breathe in a major change of scenery from the hectic pace of life and its demands.

It's only when we literally stop doing what we're doing for a while and live differently for an extended time will we understand true sabbath. God, obviously knowing how we are made and what we need, ordained and commanded sabbath on a regular basis. We could say that every night's sleep is a form of sabbath and it is. But God's chief plan was to tell His children to take one day a week and experience a major stoppage or at least change of pace from the usual grind of life.  Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy is one of the Ten Commandments. It's not a suggestion.

Even the fields were supposed to have a periodic rest and sometimes individuals were given much longer breaks. That's why many wise organizations like schools and churches offer something to people like me, usually after seven years of service following the Biblical example.

The problem is that most of us in our culture are caught in the trap and pull of having to do more not less, to never rest but be productive. We want our kids busy every moment, we need more money to get more house and then have more to take care of and then we sleep less. But our bodies weren't made for living that way. And neither were our souls.

We need regular times to slow down, even stop. We must recalibrate our minds,  rest our muscles and bones and  renew our relationships with crockpot slowness, letting each hour simmer in new flavor, perspective and calm.

The other day I had to schedule a follow up doctor visit during this sabbatical and my first reaction was to check my schedule on my phone to see what times would be open. And all of a sudden I thought . . . "Wait, my time is totally free. It doesn't matter when we make the appointment!"  That was liberating and rejuvenating in and of itself.

Do you and your family embrace sabbath in your world?  It won't likely be nine-weeks long (and mine won't either again for at least seven more years) but it can be a few hours, a day, a weekend or just a short nap. But don't say I can't afford sabbath.  The truth is you can't afford NOT to have sabbath. You're going to run out of gas, you're going to miss some of the most important things in life that you won't enjoy unless you stop long enough to experience them.

Start now. Once you do you'll never go back to the old way.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, every Saturday, as it has been since the beginning.