It always seems to be the way; you never really understand Scripture until you ‘live it’. I’ve always held in my mind the importance of Sabbath, and tried to be the ‘good Christian’ who attends church on Sunday. I’ve called that my Sabbath, with the obligatory guilt attached to the times I’ve not made it to church, or I’ve not made the day very restful in the busyness of life. Yet it’s only recently that I’ve discovered the deeper meaning of this commandment.
As a busy mum with two young children, a house to maintain, meals to cook, working from home, and my voluntary position of running the local under 5s groups, time is always pressured for me. I seem to live my life at others’ demands, always listening out for the little voices of my children, the beeping of my phone, the emails pouring in, the looming deadlines of my work and the ever demanding chaos that’s my house. Yet on Fridays, I stop. I can’t recall when I made the decision to make Fridays my day off, but it must have been a ‘God’ decision.
Fridays are my day. Obviously I still have two children to care for, but I don’t do non-essential housework and I don’t cook a proper meal (Friday night is pizza night!). I ensure there’s no washing to deal with, and the evenings are free for me to sit down on the sofa with my feet up and rest in front of a good DVD.
Recently I found myself saying to one of my friends, “Fridays are sacrosanct for me. I won’t give them up.” It was using this ‘sacred’ word that made all of the teaching on Sabbath fall into place. I’d been living Sabbath for a long time but never realised it!
Having always believed that Sabbath was about resting so you can face the upcoming week, with its perpetual cycle of busyness, I came to realise it holds something much more precious, and ultimately healing.
Fridays don’t just give me rest; they give me value and worth. It’s a time when I can put myself ahead of the demands of life and say, “Yes, I’m important and my needs are important too.”
I now live my life knowing that whatever pressures befall me during the week, I’ll have a time of rest; a time that won’t be stolen from me, a time which allows me to enjoy the value and worth God sees in me, and I’m beginning to see in myself.
If you are strung out, overwrought and think life just can’t get any busier, may I implore you to find a Sabbath in your life? A day where you give yourself value and you can hear the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28).
Prayer: Father God, You didn’t command me to rest so I’d feel guilty when I don’t. You did it because I’m of value and I’m worthy of time for myself. Please help me arrange my busy life so I can discover the beauty of my life and the value that You put on it. Amen.
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