Saturday, April 7, 2007

Sabbath Rest

Why do we have such difficulty with the idea of Sabbath Rest? Do we see rest as an imposition and a curtailing of our activities or do we realize the freedom inherent in that boundary? Like typical Americans, do we feel unproductive or lazy when faced with the idea of not being busy? Is our self-worth so interwoven in what we do to make a living that deprivation of activity causes anxiety? Studies show that while on vacation, 57% of people check in with the office at least once a day. 67% of businessmen on vacation check in at one point or another during rest. Is it any wonder that we have trouble prioritizing rest?

As Charles De Gaulle said, “The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” Our great humanist fear is that we are dispensable, and we, therefore, try our hardest to be noticed. We confuse who are in Christ with what we do—especially in the eyes of the world.

Work is never done. If we waited for an appropriate place to stop, for a concluding point, a resting space between jobs, we would never find rest. Just on the home front, there are always more clothes, dishes, sinks, and floors that need washing, cleaning, mopping and vacuuming. Throw the yard, garden, office, and personal projects on the list, and it’s more than overwhelming.

This is part of the beauty of Sabbath Rest. God does not say finish what you’re doing and take a break. He commands the cessation of activity in the middle of things. Adam’s job was only beginning when God called for rest on the seventh day of creation.

Rejoice in the freedom that Sabbath Rest can bring by not worrying about things until their appropriate time. Honoring the Sabbath is not about deprivation but about joy.

3 comments:

Matthew N. Petersen said...

I suppose this is just me being obnoxious for Holy Saturday, but today all work is finished.

covenantpromise said...

Greg -

Amen & Amen!! I have thought a lot about this in recent months. I think it is beginning to sink in. Two resources that have helped me in considering this matter of rest:
1)A lecture by Douglas Jones entitled "Sabbath Celebration"
2)A Broadcast of St. Annes Public House entitled "Finding Rest".
Thank You for your provocation to rest. In Christ - Jason Parolini

Troy Lizenby said...

Two more books, both by Josef Pieper, that provide a philosophical foundation for 'artes liberalis' are:

1) Leisure: The Basis of Culture

2) Festivity - In Tune With The World