Sometimes I find myself looking for the weekend way too early in the week. Most of the time if I think back over the preceding days, I’ll find that I broke a commandment, number four to be exact:
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest… (Exodus 20:8-10 NLT).
We won’t be saved by keeping the Sabbath, but life might work a whole lot better if we simply stopped one day a week. God has ordained rest for us, yet we all too often skip the Sabbath because we think we have too much to do. Isn’t a full life all the more reason we need a Sabbath?
When we look forward to the Sabbath, it’s easier to work vigorously on the other six days. If we find ourselves tuckering out mid-week, it’s easier to press on knowing a break is only a few days away.
When we prepare for the Sabbath it’s harder for the realities of life to snatch away the refreshment we need. In Jewish law, a Sabbath rest runs from sundown to sundown. This is a much more effective plan than trying to wake up in the morning and do no work until bedtime.
We need to spend part of the day before the Sabbath wrapping up loose ends, clearing the emails, doing the dishes, cutting the lawn. Whatever it is, we’ve got to get it done, or make peace with putting it off. That evening and the following day we are freed from everything that qualifies as work. (The definition of “work” will vary from person to person.)
Enjoy the break! Rediscover rest! I find it helpful to keep a pad and pen handy for jotting down all those “must do’s” that come to mind. Then I try to forget about them until the evening comes and the Sabbath ends.
After 24 hours of rest, we can begin to work again with gusto. Most post-Sabbath Mondays my body is rested, my mind and spirit renewed. I wake up ready for the week instead of wondering how I’ll make it to Friday.
How lovely to have a Lord who knows us well enough to command us to rest! What’s to hold us back from enjoying that blessed rule?