Ah, the Sabbath rest. There's nothing quite like a Sunday afternoon nap. Please note I said Sunday afternoon, not a “Sunday-morning-during-the-sermon” nap. I suspect that the idea of a Sabbath rest originally meant more than a leisurely nap. S.W. Duffield described Sundays as "quiet islands on the tossing seas of life." Sounds restful, indeed!
Of course, the original idea of Sabbath was sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. It didn't take long for those taking the Sabbath idea seriously to begin debating the trivially important issues: when does sunset really begin, what is work, what constitutes an "ox in the ditch." You get the idea. Many still take the Sabbath rest seriously. If you ever have any doubts, check out "Ask the Rabbi" (www.ohr.edu). Does playing Scrabble on the Sabbath violate the prohibition against writing (which equals work) on that day? If playing a game of chess on the Sabbath, is it permissible to use that little wind-up chess clock that keeps time for each player? And a not so friendly cut-throat game of Monopoly probably mimics business practices that certainly don't promote the proper Sabbath spirit!
For all those who might over scrutinize the Sabbath, there are those of us who never give it enough serious consideration. After all, isn’t taking a hike a refreshing experience? Getting in 18 holes on your favorite golf course can be invigorating (although it would entail more frustration for me). Isn’t being unconcerned about our activities just as problematic as overly analyzing everything we do? There must be a balance somewhere along the journey.
God rested, so it must be good for us. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). It sounds to me like a call for balance, but it does take some effort on our part. As finite beings, we do not have infinite energy. We are given the gift of Sabbath rest. So, what are you doing (or not doing) to find Sabbath rest? As we move into longer days of summer, please, please attend to your humanness created in the image of God. Stop. Breathe. Be. Listen. Savor. Discover life the way God intended.
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I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)