It’s 6:30am, and I’m sitting at the ktichen table watching the sun rise over the distant tree-line. One would think this is a perfect way to spend an early morning, except I’m not enjoying it all that much. We have a 5 month old baby who is learning his way in the art of sleep and the last two weeks have been brutal! Really, it’s been since before he was born that I had a night of uninteruppted sleep and it’s starting to catch up to me. So…I wish I was in bed and not looking at a sunrise.
Now that I’m done complaining about me…there is one thing that I’m very excited about in life. The journey of learning to sabbath. I know…not very exciting, is it.
Througout the grand-narrative of scripture, we see God’s plan and desire for restoration. In both big and small ways, the Bible clearly paints a picture of people being spiritually restored back to a place where God’s presence becomes central to their existence . Hearts, minds, bodies…being restored.
One of the plans God has restoration is through the discipline of rest, or Sabbath. The Sabbath as Jesus reminded the religious people of his day was made for us, not us for the Sabbath. It was Jesus’ way of saying that God designed us to be people who work, but that all of our work and accomplishments will never make God love us more.
God loves us not for what we do, but for who we are!
I’m at a time in my life where being a husband, a father of three young children, and a pastor to a church is both incredibly rewarding and stressful. To be those three things in healthy, God-honoring ways is not easy! I would love more sleep, but what I really need is rest. I look forward to a week’s vacation next month, but for my heart and mind to be restored back to a place where God is central to my existence…I need a day each week where I learn to rest in God’s love.
Yesterday happened to be a day of rest for me. Spending the day outside (ferry ride, picnic, and park) with my family. Work was far from my mind…I chose to see parenting as a blessing and not something to survive…I put away my lists of things I’m working on or thinking through…prayed and reflected on God’s unconditional love as much as I could. This was Sabbath, and while I wish I were in bed right now catching up on months of lost sleep…I feel ready for a long week of work.
A day of rest is something I need to practice. I need to model it for my family. I need to remember that God desires to use me and speak to me even when I’m NOT busy with work. Sabbath is about knowing my place…to be restored back to my place of knowing God and His love…to remember that my work as a pastor could never define my existence in this world the way unconditional love desires to. It’s a tough journey for me…
Love and Peace.