Yesterday, I practiced my first Sabbath.
This may seem silly since we all have Sundays, but I’m currently working my way through Priscilla Shirer’s Breathe with my women’s Bible study. Granted, we only started it last Wednesday, but it has been dovetailing perfectly with the promptings and yearnings in my own spirit for the last year.
Did you know that Sabbath actually means to experience “tranquility, serenity, peace and repose” (Ibid qtd. Shirer 15)?
And that when God rested on the seventh day and made it holy, He was expressing satisfaction (Shirer 15)?
Over the last year, God has patiently been walking me baby step by baby step towards Sabbath. It’s taken me a year to sort through many of my identity issues (not fix, mind you, but at least they’re labeled and organized).
Since writing this blog forced me to walk through some warfare and shifts in perspective on my context (the war zone we live in and the romance of Christ), I’ve begun to think differently. I’ve become uncomfortable, even discontent in my life of apathy, guilt, and insecurity.
In order to deal with some of this mess, God and I retreated last Fall. What did we discuss?
My home décor.
It sounds absurd, but God knew that what I had allowed into my house and the furniture and knick-knacks I arranged did not suit the home my husband and I wanted to share. It wasn’t the home God wanted us to invite people into. It was directly contrary to the purpose He has for us: deliberate, Christ-centered conversation.
Having in an unexpected rush moved into a new home several weeks ago, Fritz and I automatically saw it as an opportunity to rid ourselves of clutter and confusion. Our home now matches the purpose and style God showed me five months ago.
What does this have to do with Sabbath, you ask?
How many of you come across a new spiritual revelation and immediately start lists, schedules, and plans to implement that revelation and fail almost immediately? In case you didn’t notice, both my hands are up.
Sabbath is about rest.
That can’t be muscled into your life. And, if you’re anything like me, it can’t be thought into your life either because your brain is caught in a hamster wheel.
The beauty of this last year is that God, knowing that Sabbath would be a big part of my spring, began last summer to rewrite my thinking and identity so that instead of charging in and taking control of Sabbath (which defeats the purpose of tranquility), I’d ease into Sabbath like a warm bath.
Will there be relapses? That, friend, is what grace is for.
However, yesterday, I allowed God to set up my Sabbath and I’m celebrating by sharing what it was:
Sabbath is looking back through your life and seeing all the hundred thousand ways God has blessed you. All the dreams He fulfilled without you noticing. All the struggles you’ve overcome by His power. All the goals you’ve accomplished and never celebrated.
On my Sabbath, I looked and saw a God who loves me and blesses me without measure.
Shirer, Priscilla. Breathe: Making Room for Sabbath. 2nd ed. LifeWay Press. 2014.