You know, the very Jen Hatmaker who is ruining my life.
Yeah, that one.
Well, today I want to continue talking about this book, because it's messed me up (the newest catchphrase at our school).
We started the book with the last chapter, which sounds weird to begin with, but don't worry - it only gets weirder. The chapter we started with was about stress. For the last month, we have been pausing seven times a day for prayer, to remember who we are and whose we are.
Okay, so I sucked at waking up at midnight. Super sucked. So maybe it was more like six times a day.
Now I haven't decided if I'm going to keep pausing now that I'm out of the stress month. Something tells me I might need to, though, because the next month we're doing deals with food.
Here's the thing though: I really like food. And my wife. She's not only beautiful, but she's a great cook too - and I didn't even know that when I married her! Heck, I don't even think she knew it!
But to go an entire month only eating seven foods?
Eek. Necesito mucho... prayer.
Anyway... that's not actually what I'm here to talk about. Sorry for wasting the last 3 minutes of your life.
You see, I love the concept behind this book. We have too much crap. We need more space. Less stuff. More peace.
But as I continue on this journey to revolt against excess, I'm starting to see beyond the less and to the more. Less of me. More of Jesus.
This has most evident to me in our intentional practice of honoring the Sabbath.
I had several excuses before the last month as to why I didn't honor the Sabbath.
Excuse 1: That's Old Testament. Get outta here with that.
Mrs. Hatmaker, in her infinite wisdom, trashed that excuse from the get go with this passage of Scripture. She then proceeded to ruin my second excuse.
Excuse 2: Jesus broke Sabbath all the time. WWJD? Break it!
Makes sense, right? I thought this was an airtight argument until I read this. And then I realized something:
Crud, I'm not the Lord of the Sabbath, like that Jesus guy. Heck, I'm not even Lord of... anything!
And then I was out of excuses.
Enter in the Sabbath - an intentional day of rest. From sundown on Saturday night until sundown on Sunday night, we have rested with purpose, celebrating through Communion and worship with people around us who like Jesus like we do. We even lit candles while we ate and busted out our fancy wine glasses that haven't been touched since our wedding.
And let me tell you - I love me some Sabbath now. However, there is one, itty, bitty, tinsy, winsy thing that I forgot to mention. No working on the Sabbath. None. I don't even read books for school that I enjoy. Instead, if I want to read, I choose something to read for pleasure, for rest.
As a college student (and a working American in general) this complicates things a little. Regardless of how sacred the Sabbath is, Monday still means work. And for us, that still means homework. This hits on something, though, that the Old Testament talks about. You see, the Israelites observed the Sabbath, but in order to rest for 24 hours, they had to work overtime to collect food for the Sabbath.
Yup, you heard me right: the Sabbath actually calls us to work harder.
We're not talking about taking a couple extra hours of overtime during your 5 day workweek, either.
No, when God commands rest on the 7th day, he implicitly commands something else:
Hard work... for each of the other six days of the week.
Six. Not five. Not five and a half. Six. That means Saturday. And that means not resting on Saturday, but preparing for Sunday, when true rest can occur. It's been painful, to say the least. Kalyn and I both have huge exegetical papers due at the end of the month, so working on them (along with all of our other homework and housework) for six days is brutal.
But when that Sabbath sunset rolls around... Oh, it's beautiful. It's marvelous. And I wonder why I would ever want to ignore it.
So beyond denying myself, I learned something new this past month: a better work ethic than I ever thought possible. We aren't only called to work a 9-5 for 5 days a week. We're called to work our tails of for six days so that we can rest on the seventh.
Now I realize that the week is just beginning and that it may seem daunting, but won't you try it with me? Take the Sabbath to heart and follow what God instructs and implies.
You'll be surprised - your body will fall into a natural rhythm and it won't really seem that different. In fact, you may find yourself more well rested than you ever were before. Of course, it makes sense when you consider that true rest after doing good work was God's idea in the first place.
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Questions: Have you ever considered taking part in Sabbath rest? What are your thoughts on working hard for six days while taking off the seventh? How would better resting benefit you this week?
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