What doing "nothing" for a day taught me

photo by safetylast

Last week, Michael and I attempted our first-ever "Sabbath." I had always thought the Sabbath was about resting and giving our bodies and minds and spirits time to stop and breathe. I do think it's about that, but if that's all it were, wouldn't we all embrace the replenishment wholeheartedly? Why do we instead fight it? Why is it so hard to spend a day not doing?

In our Judaism class, we touched on the Sabbath and our rabbi pointed out something that I'd never really thought about: In Old Testament times, these people worked with their hands whether farmers or sheepherders, etc. Taking a day off from work was not just a day off from running errands, but a day off from their livelihood. What would happen to the soil? To the weeds cropping up? To the seeds that need to be sowed? To the animals creeping around the plants? Taking a day off could really impact your seasonal harvest and whether you have enough to eat, to keep warm, to live. It was literally a sacrifice.

And so for them, taking a Sabbath was an act of trust and faith. Trusting that God will stay faithful and help you get everything done that you need to get done, that he will multiply your efforts, despite the fact that you took a day off to spend with him.

Hearing that, I realized, that has been the root of my lack of Sabbath. The resting part sounds great, but really I need to get this done or that done, which trumps God's command. Which is a lack of trust that what I sow into him, he will reap into a harvest that I cannot fathom. This time is not lost, but invested in such a way that to-do lists cannot capture.

So we Sabbathed last week, from sundown to sundown. I knew I'd be laying my computer aside and not touching any work. I worked ahead to have our next day's lunch ready. But there were little things I hadn't expected to be difficult to me: Wanting to put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wanting to pick up around the house, wanting to fold up the laundry. They were just little things--not really work, I reasoned. I had to fight the urge to "do" and to trust that when it came time, it'd all get done, it'd all be fine.

And, of course, it was. Because God is good.

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  1. this would be so hard for me! But sounds like something I would learn from.

  2. It definitely was difficult! But I think that's part of it...Michael and I are going to try to do it once a month, although I really think that God's idea for once a week is probably the best practice. But baby steps! Let me know if you do try it!

  3. I wonder what it would be like for my family to take a day off to spend with the Lord. From sundown to sundown sounds like a long time. However that is what it's suppose to be. I actually think I would like it.

    `To Be Thode: Saturday Sound Off`

  4. Yeah, it definitely was difficult...but it seems as though most things in life that are worthwhile are! We are attempting to do it once a month for now, as a way to ease into it. Best of luck, and thanks for stopping by, Michelle!!

  5. I need to practice taking intentional "Sabbaths" as well...


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