Resting Is Hard Work

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Do you realize how important rest is to God?

Why is it so hard to rest? I mean, really rest. Not, I’m-going-to-sit-for-an-hour-and-read-a-book-then-get-back-to-my-busyness type of rest. I’m talking about fully unplugged, I’m-not-going-to-log-on-to-Facebook-Twitter-or-email kind of rest. As my friend Doug says, “Sabbath for me is about not producing anything. Helps me realize that the world’s going to go on without me.”

Another question I’ve been asking myself lately: Why don’t I take rest as seriously as God does? Take a look at what I came across in Exodus 31:

“Above all, keep my Sabbaths, the sign between me and you, generation after generation, to keep the knowledge alive that I am the God who makes you holy. Keep the Sabbath; it’s holy to you. Whoever profanes it will most certainly be put to death. Whoever works on it will be excommunicated from the people. There are six days for work but the seventh day is Sabbath, pure rest, holy to God. Anyone who works on the Sabbath will most certainly be put to death. The Israelites will keep the Sabbath, observe Sabbath-keeping down through the generations, as a standing covenant.” (from The Message)

Put to death?!?! Really? Man, God takes this rest stuff seriously. But I – and almost every other Christian I know – sees the Sabbath as…well…as a suggestion. But there it is, plain as day – above all, keep my Sabbaths. Above all? Check me if I’m wrong, but above all seems pretty “not optional.”

Why do I think the world actually needs me to produce something everyday? Do I really think God’s looking at my life and saying, Ok, everyone else needs rest, but I need you to keep plugging away? Am I so important? So talented? Such a gift to humanity? Seriously.

Just typing out loud here, but I’m starting to think my lack of Sabbath-keeping is really about my own pride and reliance on myself instead of trusting that God actually knows what He’s doing.

Then there’s the whole part about passing it “down through the generations.” Hmmm…what sort of restful, trusting God am I modeling to my kids? Okay…that’ll leave a mark.

What does Sabbath mean to you? How do you observe it?

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