Whatever Happened To The Day Called “SABBATH”?3 min read
I had this interesting conversation with a colleague of mine at work. She was a Christian like me and she always put in the extra effort at work to make sure things got done. I was having a chat and trying to find out what she did during the weekends after a very busy week (which is like every week!).
Her response went something like this. “My husband and I are up early on Saturday morning to attend a couple meetings in church. We spend most of the day in church on Saturday to get a number of things going. We are also up early on Sunday morning for service followed by a couple more meetings after church. In the evening, we attend the home fellowship meetings”
I was stunned when she reeled through all this because she was said it with a sense of self-achievement. Well, I wasn’t going to bust her bubble too quickly so I stylishly slipped in the question – when do you take time to rest?
The funny thing is that she is not the only one rocking that boat. There are so many people I know that lead that lifestyle. They drain themselves out so much during the week and don’t even take a pause during the weekend. They simply change the name of the employer.
In most cases, the employer is not God – the employer is actually the church organisation they are aligned to. The mistake we make is that we forget that service to God includes keeping our relationship with God, taking care of our bodies, spending time with our families and caring for our neighbours.
This is one of the most important things we must find time to do. Unfortunately, these are usually the ones we are quick to forget. The problem is that these things would eventually catch up with us.
I noticed that in the Old Testament, God even provided for a Sabbath year when the land was meant to have a time of rest (Leviticus 25:4). You know the funny thing, when the Israelites went all gung-ho after other gods forgetting everything God told them to do, He still remembered the Sabbath years.
The bible writes “The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” (2 Chronicles. 36:21). Can you believe that? If you do the maths, God waited for about 490 years before having the Israelites pay for not giving the land the traditional seventh year Sabbath rest.
So if you choose to fill your whole week with activities – work, church, social (yeah, yeah, weddings, birthdays, parties and all) and anything else you can add, there is going to be pay-back. It is either you wear your body out faster and/or miss out on having intimacy with the relationships that matter in your life.
I had to make a decision at some time to cut out of some church volunteering activities because I was volunteering somewhere else. Really in my books, they all add up to service to God. I don’t have to do it all in the church.
Furthermore, if I spend all my days in the church premises, how will I connect with the neighbours I have around me. Those might be the real opportunities I have to serve them.
But I am sure that most of you reading this don’t have the problem, right? You probably have the right balance in your life; you know how to say “NO” to that request for your time which you don’t really need to give.
But if you are like me, we need to find a way to select a day of the week to be our SABBATH – it doesn’t have to be Sunday. We will just choose a day to reconnect with the most important relationships in our lives and give our bodies the rest it needs.
I guess this looks like something we can start doing in this new week. I really need to keep my SABBATH.
Even God took a one-day rest after six days of work.