“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep 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, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” – Exodus 20:8-11
Today is the first Sabbath of the Lenten season. Therefore we will pause on our road to the cross and rest. Sabbath was modeled by our Creator from the very beginning. The six Sabbaths will be like a rest stops on our 40 day journey. Practicing the Sabbath is one of the first commands in Scripture and is mentioned more than any other commandment in Scripture. Sabbath…the rhythm of life. A balance between work and rest. A regular time to refreshment and refocusing ourselves.
But, Sabbath is about much more than rest. It is also about trust or, more specifically, WHO we trust. It requires us to step back and let go…to stop what we are doing and acknowledge that life is not up to us and our efforts. It is a reminder that God is in charge and, if we really trust Him, we are able to rest knowing that He’s got this.
What makes the Sabbath principle so hard is that we tend to lean toward being the Captain of our own ship. After all our society rewards that. This makes it a spiritual discipline that is extremely hard to keep. If it all depends on us and if we are in charge then we will always be driven to work more and rest less. If it is all up to us then we will feel guilty when we take a break to refocus.
So, even during an intense spiritual journey like the Lenten season, we still need to stop, take a deep breath, and let God refresh us. Take a moment today to read through Psalm 23. It is a very soothing way to calm our minds and hearts and has been a source of Sabbath rest for thousands of years.