We need to practice Sabbath so we can grow in our trust and reliance on God.
We need to practice Sabbath in order to counter society’s push for more scheduled events, more social media posts, more things done. God isn’t interested in our effort, effectiveness and usage if he is being ignored.
We need to practice Sabbath so we can be obedient to God.
We need to practice Sabbath so our souls, our minds, our bodies, and our families can rest.
I practice Sabbath regularly but it wasn’t until I put aside some misconceptions that I truly started to make it work for me.
Misconception #1 – I am not supposed to prepare in advance because that would defeat the purpose of the Sabbath. I told myself that working extra hard to take care of things so I can have a Sabbath was not really practicing Sabbath because I wasn’t letting go of responsibility, I was just rescheduling it. But, then I read Peter Scazerro and he says that he sets aside time each week to attend to the “routine tasks of daily life” that he won’t do on his Sabbath. I started to protect my Sabbath by using the rest of the week for getting other things done. The practice reframed my week.
Misconception #2 – I am not allowed to be active. I enjoy running and find it restorative and rejuvenating. I thought I couldn’t run on my Sabbath because it is not exactly resting. Then, I read this quote from Abraham Heschel, “A man who works with his mind should sabbath with his hands, and a man who works with his hands should sabbath with his mind. “ What great wisdom and exactly what I needed to hear. I spend my week inside and in front of a computer screen doing knowledge work and straining my mind. I need an embodied, physical practice to balance out the overwork I do in other areas. Eugene Peterson is an inspiration here. For decades, Peterson and his wife practiced sabbath with long hikes in the mountains.
Next week, I will walk you through my Sabbath practice.