Sabbath Ramblings

Warning: This is a LONG post. Read it anyways!

This post might seem completely crazy to almost everyone I think is reading this, but as part of my twenty-five things list I said I would be more open about my convictions about the Sabbath. These things might not mean anything to you or they might not be your conviction. That’s cool too. Let’s talk about it sometime.

Right after Taylor and I got married, we studied the Sabbath. I don’t really remember what compelled me to study this. I didn’t grow up with any understanding of what the Sabbath was and what it is today. For much of the time my family went to church and our days were pretty much the same. We’d get up, go to church, eat lunch at a restaurant, then head back home. Sometimes there would be additional shopping and errands, and in high school and most of college, I would waste my weekend away so that I had a pile of homework to do on Sunday. I was always tired. I was never truly resting.

I read a book that was recommended to me about the Sabbath called Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing and Feasting by Marva J. Dawn. I’d highly recommend it, if for nothing else to really have something to provoke your thoughts.  I learned a lot about what I thought work was for me and what I thought rest was. I could probably right a whole post about this book alone, but I’ll save that for now. Mostly, I learned about what the Sabbath is – a day to be kept holy and set apart for the Lord.

In turn, Taylor and I made a conscious decision to  make some changes:

We stopped doing homework or studying for school on Sundays. It was difficult at first to reorganize our weekends and studying to have Sunday off, but I was amazed with how much more rested I felt because of it. I can’t explain how big this change was then. I had more time on Sundays to read for pleasure and rest. I took naps and enjoyed the outdoors. It was a glorious change. Now, it’s easier not to do work for my occupation on Sunday, but 3 years ago it was difficult.

Another major change for our lives, especially several years ago, was our decision to stop purchasing goods or eating at restaurants on Sundays. Occasionally, this becomes a difficult task for us to complete still. It would be so much easier, especially when traveling to visit relatives or when invited to events on Sundays, to join in, and often times I want to. Sometimes we have given in, especially when traveling because it becomes so difficult and is quite easy to feel like a burden. Recently, we have become better at our preparedness and our conviction regarding this that it has become much easier. Because I do wholly feel that Sunday is for the Lord, I do not see this as a something I have to give up, but rather a way in which God refreshes me for the coming week.

Only very recently have I started to curb my computer usage on Sundays. For my occupation, I manage social media accounts and I happen to really like them, but it’s so easy to be drained by the constant cycle of them, so I’ve given them up for Sundays and it’s been good for me to relax for a day. Some days, like during the Super Bowl Blackout of 2013, I fail at this miserably, but I try not to get myself to down about it. Periodically, I think about giving up television on Sunday, but I haven’t completely yet. I still am not convinced that it does not provide some good that could be Sabbath-oriented, but I do generally have an uneasy feeling about it.

I know that this is what’s right for me right now. It might not be right for you. It might seem like the craziest thing you’ve ever read. I think that’s ok.   There is probably some room for practicing this differently, but having an idea about rest seems so important to me in this constantly moving culture. Our bodies need rest and were created for this practice that is such a gift, if we only would treat it as one. I think the Sabbath isn’t about lists or rules to follow, but about orienting your heart rightly.

What do you think about the Sabbath?

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5 Comments

  1. Bless you. I grew up Seventh Day Adventist but now attend a non-denominational church that meets on Sundays but also 2 other days that are just as important to us. Most of my family is still Seventh-Day adventist. I’m actually probably going to blog about this soon. Sabbath is a complex topic for Sabbatarians and non-Sabbatarians. Every Christian’s view point will answer these questions: Does the 4th commandments matter? How do we keep all 10 anyway now? What is grace and how does it apply to the 10 ? Which day is the Sabbath..Saturday or Sunday? If I keep the Sabbath am I in works? Should we venerate a specific day of congregational gathering anyway? Are the days of the week the same as they were until Jesus’ time? If you do keep Sabbath on whatever day you think it is what should you or shouldn’t you do(some Sabbatarians keep the Sabbath as orthodox Jews do in refraining from cooking or driving or ironing). If all this is making you dizzy it actually should because that’s how complex it has become. LOL. I believe the answer is balance between Hebrews 4 and Ex 20:8-11. Have a great day.

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