In one of my favorite books on Sabbath, Wayne Muller writes:
“Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop, because our work is never completely done. With every accomplishment there arises a new responsibility… Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished.”
I ask myself, Do I remember weekly, daily, hourly, who my source is? Am I in charge or is God?
“Just because we are working hard does not mean we are making anything happen.” Wayne Muller
Enacting a Sabbath life means different things for different people but the intention is the same – Surrender, renewal, fellowship, peace, and joy.
Make a Sabbath Box.
Whether our Sabbath moments are snapshots of time taken during the day while our children sleep, over dinner with family on a summer evening, or one day a week dedicated to worship, a Sabbath Box can help center our hearts and prepare us for rest.
As you enter your time of Sabbath, put all the things that distract you and steal your attention into the box. What are you holding tightly too that God wants to handle for you. Is it your phone, your computer, a day timer? In some family’s custom of Sabbath, the host stands at the door on Friday night as the guest arrive for dinner with the Sabbath Box in hand. Guests are invited to leave keys, phones, and even pens in the box as they enter into the sacred place that has been prepare for them. You may find some of your distractions are too big to put in the box. In this case, have a separate pad of paper next to your box that you and others can write a note with the worry, need or to-do list. Once your items are in the box prepare your heart by saying this short prayer.
God, there is nothing I can do about these concerns, so I know it is in your hands.
Now take a deep breath…and extend a long exhale. Light a candle in celebration. Gather with friends or family over a home cooked meal. Take a walk in the beauty of God’s nature. Read Bible stories to your kids.
As you enjoy these moments, breathe in these words of Scripture.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)
During your time of Sabbath, no matter how short or long, relinquish your death grip on the stirring wheel of life and know that God in His unfailing love and faithfulness is a better driver than you.
As you end your Sabbath time, carry these word as a reminder of God’s provision and strength with you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).
“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:26-28).
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Source: Sabbath: Finding Rest, renewal and delight in our busy lives. Wayne Muller