Sabbath is not something that I truly observed in my earliest days as a Christ follower, but it has become one of the most beneficial lifestyle upgrades as I press into Jesus. So I am sure we are all on the same page, I am not talking about any specific day of the week but a day that you have chosen to set aside for the Lord. My day is Saturday, as I work for my church. It is a day of rest, a day of reflection, prayer, a day where you intentionally put down your work to draw closer to the Lord.
To be very honest with you all, I had never planned on writing a post on this topic, but after an email conversation with a friend inquiring how I make the Sabbatth work for me, He suggested that I share it. So the following is what I shared with my friend, and I think that if you are also struggling as I did at one pont with making it work, this should give you some good things to think about.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis2:2-3
Here are some of my basic principles that I try to stick with.
The questions asked are good for you to answer for yourself, the responses are simply what is true for me.
First I have had to determine: What fills me up?
1. Creative ventures [Personal art creation, fun writing, expressive activities]
2. Reading something fun/very interesting [If I don’t want to read it, but have to it is a no go]
3. Times of flat out laughter and silliness [Often play time with Lariza, Leila (My wife and daughter) certain friends that I am unguarded with, etc]
4. NO MINISTRY, unless it fills me and not drains me [I have made exceptions, because I need the Lord to be a significant part of the day, but Ministry that brings me life and not that that takes it out of me; before you say yes to some tasks, you must no which category they fall in: life bringer or life taker]
Then I need to know: What drains me?
1. Mindless tasks
2. Too much physical activity
3. Obligatory activity and not choice activity
4. Mentoring and counseling (I love it, but it drains me)
5. Staring at the computer too long (Online activities are fun for me, but I must limit)
Simply put, I ask myself these following 2 questions about the activities and plans that I allow in?
1. Is this something that I would enjoy?
- If yes…Thumbs up. Clear for take off, but be mindful of indulging in one activity for too long. I enjoy variety as well and get drained by the same activity after a while.
- If no, Thumbs down. Or at least, severely limit the amount of time spent on it. [For instance House shopping last weekend. I made sure that when agreeing to this, that we would not be doing this for long. Turned out to actually be enjoyable though. ;)]
2. Is this something done primarily to help someone else?
- If yes, Do you enjoy it? If yes (Thumbs up) Will you feel wiped after? If yes (Thumbs down) but schedule a time when you CAN meet the need or determine if you are the best one to meet that need at all]
- I have allowed certain chores for my wife in on occasion, because I want to love her through my Sabbath and knowing that this is a sacrifice for me blesses her. (Slippery slope, must be careful) [Acts of service is her primary love language]
As far as people that I spend my Sabbath with, I usually don’t have a certain list of people allowed in, but I try to keep a balance of simply me and Jesus time, fun alone time, family time, and friends time.
It doesn’t always work perfectly, but I am conscious about not being isolated or neglecting my need for time for myself or our need for time as a family.
My favorite part of my Sabbath, is that generally speaking we go into each Sabbath with no more than 2 hours of anything already scheduled. We tend to leave that open for how we feel, unless we have a family date or just Lariza and I date planned. Saturday nights are pretty much awesome.
This is essentially what I can tell you more or less about Sabbath for me and I hope it helps you make the Sabbath work for you.
The biggest things that I would hope you take away from this are:
1. Find out what YOU enjoy. What fills YOU up? And invite the Lord into those activities as much as possible on the Sabbath.
2. Know what drains you. What activities do you dread or wipe you out? Eliminate those from your Sabbath as much as possible.
3. Leave BIG chunks of margin sitting in this day. It might be a great idea to look at this day as one huge chunk of margin in your week, NOT to be filled with STUFF.
Those of you that currently observe Sabbath, what are some of the things that make your Sabbath special? If you don’t already observe a Sabbath, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Now you have no excuses…You have some help on How to do it.
More Help Here.