Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What Should Sabbath Look Like?

How do you live Sabbath in a busy, always-on world?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about being challenged with the idea of Sabbath. (You can read that post here.) Since I wrote that post, I've been wrestling with what it looks like for me to really make it a part of my life.

How do I live Sabbath in a busy world?
How do I live Sabbath in our always connected world?
How do I live Sabbath without it just becoming a day full of legalistic rules of what I can and cannot do?

I don't think it's something where we can tell each other what it should look like. When we try to tell someone else exactly how it should look, we're in great danger of wandering into legalism. It's okay if the details of what a Sabbath looks like are different from each other.

What matters is where our heart is at. It's the attitude that makes it a Sabbath or not. We have to start there when we look at creating a Sabbath in our lives.

The more I've wrestled with this in my own life, the more I've come to appreciate the way my pastor described some guiding thoughts for a Sabbath:

Pray & Play

Two words that don't tell you exactly what you can and cannot do, but capture what a Sabbath should be.

Pray: This is about our relationship with God. Time to talk to God and to listen to what He's saying to us.

Play: Fun. Activities we enjoy. A break from some of our usual responsibilities.

What falls into each of these categories will look different for each of us. What is play to one person, may be work to another. What spending time in conversation looks like for another may not work for someone else.

As I've been walking on this journey, I've realized that sometimes it's a bit of trial and error to figure it out. Some things will be what you need for a Sabbath and some won't. I think that learning what it is for you is a key part of it because it takes us to a deeper relationship with God. As we're figuring it out, we're pursuing God.

I believe God is issuing an invitation to all of us to engage in this journey of relearning how to have a Sabbath. Of learning how to make regular days for us to pray and play again.

For me, it's been about learning to disconnect from normal responsibilities with work and ministry - not because they're not important, but because I'm better able to engage there fully when I have regular breaks from them. About learning, again, how to "waste time" - doing something just because I enjoy it, not because it's accomplishing anything. About realizing that the vegging out in front of the TV I used to call my break really isn't as refreshing as I thought it was (doesn't mean I don't still do that sometimes, it just means I have a different mindset about why I'm doing it).

What about for you?

How are you learning to live Sabbath in a busy world?
How are you learning to live Sabbath in our always connected world?
How are you learning to live Sabbath without it becoming a day full of legalistic rules of what you can and cannot do?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Leave them in the comments below.

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