A day of rest is not such a bad thing
Anywhere you dwell in the United States and in most civilized countries else where, it is considered illegal to murder someone. Oh, I know that there are places where murder is considered a past time, but for those of us that like to dwell together in harmony and peace, it is something that we embrace and share with others-this idea that living is a great idea.
On top of that, most of us would say that we shouldn't lie. And very few of us want someone to come into our house and take our flat panel screen down from the wall and keep it as their own. After all, we paid for it, we worked for it, we should get to keep it.
You may see where I'm going with this, but these are just a few of what we know as the Ten Commandments that the God who created the universe decided were important. Not only important but which He felt so strongly about, He warned us to follow them or the consequences would be dire. We really don't have a problem supporting these, but when it starts to invade our turf, we get a little more picky about whether we are "God-fearing" people or not. These fit in our commercialized lives. But what about sex outside of marriage? What about having affairs? Sure, maybe you're among those who say, "You haven't lost me yet. I still agree." Okay, how about "take a day off."
On this one, I would about guarantee that 95% of those reading this post just hit the back key. Do you really take a day off? The same God that issued "take a day off" also issued "do not murder" said "do not steal." You would sue or attack another for trying to steal or murder you. And yet, the third of the ten commands God gave us was a command to remember to take one day a week completely off from work. Stealing and lying didn't come until number eight and number nine! How can we be so fickle?! It's because we are commercialized and selfish.
Just think about what it would be like to have a whole day off! Nothing to do, no place to go. And on top of that, to take a portion of that day to look to the God of the universe, who created the very first atom that ever existed, and to say "Thanks, I needed the break."
As usual, here are a few thoughts:
- What is really important? Ask yourself this question. Whether you are a Judeo-Christian or the worlds biggest publicized heathen or hypocrite, why won't you allow yourself, even force yourself, to take an entire day off. Skip the TV, skip the movies, skip the sports. Just sit around with a cup of coffee, tea, wine or whatever your favorite refreshment is, and just relax. Do nothing. Read a book. Have a friend over. Eat sandwiches for the day. Just do nothing. You'd even have time to ponder the question "where did the very first atom of oxygen come from?" God doesn't mind being evaluated. He's no fool. Certainly, He knows we need the break or he wouldn't have commanded it.
- How fickle are you? Are you willing to embrace some of God's commands and not others? Is it that God only knows in part how we are supposed to work? Is it that you can be God's teacher and his trainer? Can God be changed by us? Or do we choose to tweak and burn parts of God's character and person to make it easier for our lives to fit our own ideas of eternity and what is right and valuable? As for me, it's only been in the past six months that I and my family have pursued a sabbath days rest. Some weeks it's on Saturday, some weeks its on Sunday. But we are now putting extreme effort into honoring this command of God just as we honor not lying or stealing. And I can tell you, it's been a struggle. My American mindset fights it. But, we are loving it. I never knew having an entire day off could be so amazingly restful.
- How grateful are you? The reason God did this wasn't because He got tired. He commanded this so that we could have a day off! He's a smart God that knows His creation loves to work so much that without a boundary that creation will not stop. He knows we are generally wired to work, work, work. So, he built a stoplight into each of our roads of life. Be grateful for it! Thank God for His kindness. After all, the commandment could have been "You must work 70 hours a week and all seven days, never quit!" Be grateful that this God of creation remembers us and gives us time to wind down. Then, take a second and whisper a thank you. He really does deserve it.
Okay, I have to stop writing. After all, it's my day off.
Do you know someone that could benefit from reading this article? Send them the link and don't forget that this type of material is covered in my book Making It Count: Putting meaning back in business and relationships. Bryan Hurlbut is the author of Making it Count: Putting meaning back in business and relationships.