Honoring the Sabbath

If you don't take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You're doing too much, you're being too much in charge. You've got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you're not doing anything. “

                                                               - Eugene H. Peterson

Sabbath is a difficult spiritual discipline. In an era that coined the phrase "24/7," we must be deliberate to create sabbath rest, although I might argue this has always been a challenge. And why is that? Theoretically this should be an easy one to master, take a day off. Who doesn't want to do that? And... it's a commandment! 

There is no shortage of excuses, but I imagine few are legitimate. It may be difficult to honor it on a particular day, as some have work schedules that require Sunday shifts. Beyond that the scriptures include reasons why one might break the sabbath, such as "if your ox is stuck in a ditch you may work to free him." Perhaps this is the litmus test, you might ask yourself, is this truly an "ox in the ditch" type of moment?  

The sabbath is time dedicated to God. The sabbath is a reminder that we are not slaves. If we routinely miss the sabbath we might very well be slaves in the modern world. The sabbath is more than a day of rest, it does subtle work on us beyond what we might imagine. What marks your sabbath rest?  What can you do to mark the day as holy and connect with God?  

Part of my sabbath practice has been to not open my email.  Some wonder what the harm in checking in could be, but I have found it leaves me thinking about work throughout the day. Sometimes even small steps can move us toward a deeper observation of a spiritual discipline. I hope you will seek to make the sabbath holy, I believe it is a practice that is truly transformational.

Blessings -

Fr. Paul