Sunday, June 27, 2010

On Sabbath

Tom Foley is the CEO of CEO.  His job is to mobilize missionaries.  Petra and I are part of Christian Educators Outreach and we've found Tom to be a huge encouragement.  Recently he shared some thoughts about Sabbath on his blog Kingdom Travelin'.  It's worth a few minutes of your time.

On a trip to DC a few weeks ago, I heard a radio program while driving among the NoVa suburbs where our younger daughter works about sleep. The levels of sleep are several, from the light sleep where we are totally aware of our surroundings to deep sleep where we are virtually paralyzed in stillness. It is in this deep sleep that the body heals and has physical restoration. It is in dreams, the expert stated, that our mind goes through a daily ‘de-fraging’ (excuse the computer lingo). It is, therefore, in rest that we are renewed. Hence, Sabbath.
I’ve read a little bit over the last years about Sabbath. The philosophy I’ve developed about Sabbath comes from that. Once a week we are to stop. But God intends for it to be intentional, not random, like the train I was on yesterday slowed down and stopped. It stopped in the hottest part of the day and without explanation. It just stopped. After awhile people began to get restless. They looked out the window and wondered. Soon people began to get off! It was then that I figured that we were near the city. Indeed we were only about a km out of the city very near the outer train station. So I joined the folks who were rats from the stopped ship. And I made the walk into the city. This random stopping, in an uncomfortable situation, without preparation was not the best time for a rest. It was not planned, it was not intentional, it was not among loved ones, but among strangers. This was not Sabbath. But many people treat their “Sabbath” like this. With randomness. I’ll just take what comes! This is not scriptural. In Scripture, we read that God expects detail and panning and that which is supposed to consume one-seventh of our lives deserves thought and planning.

Sabbath, according to one writer should include delight. Intentional time to delight in God for He wishes to delight in His creation and we are made in his image, so we are made for delight. Delight in Him, one another, and in creation. This requires one to understand what we delight in. But this too requires an intentionality that is often missing in our work-a-day random world. What are the ways in which you delight in connecting to God, your loved ones, your own mind and heart? For we are all different and have different ways of going about things. We need to each identify ways of deepening our Sabbath.

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