Monday, September 24, 2012

Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy

I am very good, maybe too good, at creating lots of space in my life. If I get too busy, I tend to become anxious and short tempered. I will give the best of myself to people outside of my family and take the leftovers home to my husband and son. This is not, to say the least, ideal.

So I work at fencing my time. Apart from a few exceptions I don’t work nights or Saturdays (Sunday is hard to avoid since I’m a pastor) and I have no problem with saying ‘no’ to people who ask for my time.

I don’t sign up my son for more than two (one is the norm) activities at a time and I keep our weekends reserved for family.

As my son gets older I know I may not always be able to draw the boundary lines as firmly as I do now, but I suspect I will always be good at fencing my personal time.

All these things should put me in a prime spot in my life to listen for and hear God’s voice - to keep a single day out of the seven in a week to observe in some way God’s direction for us to rest. Yet, even in my 'underscheduled' life, I find it remarkably easy to do busy work all 7 days and not spend time listening to God. Sometimes it's as if I turn on the white noise in my head simply because I don't want to have to listen to what he’s telling me.

Creating a 'Sabbath' (or a holy space) in your life does require time, but it also requires a willing spirit. You could have all the time in the world but if you don't have a desire to hear God’s voice the time factor doesn’t matter.

All of us, no matter how busy or empty our schedules are, need to find space in our lives for rest, renewal and to hear God’s voice. It's important.

It's so important that God commands us to do it. We are to 'keep the Sabbath holy'. That phrase means a lot of different things to different people but today I am using it simply as the idea that we need to make some sacred space in our lives. we need to stop: stop working, stop achieving, stop talking, stop directing. We need to listen: to God, our families, ourselves. We need to be open: to new directions, to being wrong (or right), to being uncertain, to simply waiting.

If we really and truly stop doing, start listening, and allow ourselves to be open to God's guidance that sense of peace and fulfillment that we spend out days chasing will just suddenly show up when we least expect it.

Chesney Szaniszlo

Be still and know that I am God....
-Psalm 46:10