What does a Sabbath Really Look Like?

I love the Minnesota State Fair!  It is twelve days of fun, work and funny stories with friends.  We have a lot of fun together each night at work.  We look forward to it every year with great excitement.  By the end of the twelve days we are exhausted and ready to be done until next year. 

Needless to say the last night is rather bittersweet for us. Relief for it being the final night of work.  Sadness that it will be a few months before we are all together again. 

It can be very tiring to work most nights at the Fair late into the night and then get up early the next morning to go to one’s day job.  There are not many hours of sleep for any of us. 

Each year this is a great reminder to me the importance of keeping a sabbath day in my regular rhythm to the week. 

Our bodies require a period of time to rest and recover.  Not only is it physically healthy to have a rest day but God directs us to remember the sabbath.   

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”
(Exodus 20:8) 

He directs each of us to keep the sabbath holy by setting aside one day each week to put the work aside and rest. 

Rest does not necessarily mean sleeping in and binge watch the latest popular TV show.  It can be going out for a day hike with a loved one or friend.  Or doing yard work. Or perhaps spending time on your favorite hobby.  The specific activity is not limited to a select few things.  Do what gives you life and renews your spirit.  

It can look different each week. Or be the different day of the week depending on the week’s schedule which is why it is important to schedule your sabbath on the calendar as you would any other event in your life.  

Don’t feel guilty for taking the day for yourself. The world will try to distract you and convince you that you will always need to be working.  Taking a day off is not a ‘sign of weakness’.  Taking a day off is actually a sign of strength and understanding what you need to be healthy.

As you prepare for your sabbath set some expectations or guidelines to help you. 

Before the day arrives decide how you will handle technology. Does the cell phone go on Do Not Disturb for the whole day?  Will you watch television?

Who will you spend time with that day?  Would you prefer to be alone?  Would you rather be with friends?

What does true rest look like for you? Will you get some chores done?  Maybe you want to go out on an adventure. 

Give yourself permission to have your sabbath look different as often or as much as you want it to have. Do not put too high expectations on the day. Whatever it is you do or don’t do be content during the day.  Have the mindset of being and not doing.  Be intentional to remind yourself of who you are and Who’s you are.  

This is a healthy rhythm to life and ministry.  Don’t try to be formulaic with it.  Allow each Sabbath to unfold itself to you as a present.  Enjoy the quiet adventure days as much as the daring adventure days.

Enjoy your sabbath day. Whatever it is you do have fun.  I pray you have a smile on your face and in your heart throughout the day. 

This Week’s Challenge

Schedule of Sabbath on your calendar for the next 3 weeks.  Write it on the calendar and plan the remainder of your week accordingly.

Next, think about what gives you life and inspiration.  Write down what does not.  Set boundaries for your sabbath so that it is the rest-filled, life-giving day as God designed it to be from the beginning.  

Lastly, have fun!

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