The LORD is my shepherd…He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. – Psalm 23:1,2 (NIV)
When the kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, January was my R & R month. Just as the military gives its troops time for rest and relaxation to refresh them for the battles to come, I, too, found fighting life’s day-to-day battles left me with an I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-go-on feeling. Especially after the hectic holidays.
So, after the decorations were put away and the house somewhat back to normal, I decided I needed a vacation of sorts. I couldn’t afford to fly off to a warmer climate, and the frigid temperatures, blowing snow, and howling winds of a typical Northeast January made traveling anywhere but to town for groceries a battle in itself. So why not hole up and take the first month of the year to refresh my spirits and rejuvenate my energy?
I spent the time reading and working on a sewing or crocheting project. My family enjoyed homemade bread, cinnamon rolls made from scratch, and other goodies I usually didn’t have the time to make. When the kids had a snow day, we played board games and sipped hot chocolate topped with a healthy dollop of extra creamy whipped topping.
When February rolled around, I was ready to come out of my self-imposed hibernation and face the world.
Rest is important to body, mind, and spirit. That’s why God commands us “to remember the Sabbath day.” The Hebrew words for Sabbath means “cessation.” One day in seven was set aside for rest and worship. God Himself set the precedent when He ceased from His work of creating the universe and everything in it.
Nowadays it seems the world spins faster. Technology has increased the pace of life. We’re slaves to overcrowded schedules. We overcommit our time and overdo ourselves, but for what purpose?
January is almost over, and I’ve spent most of it taking myself on a guilt trip because I haven’t done what I’d planned to do on my projects. Perhaps my R & R has been calling to me, and I’ve been resisting.
Since I preach every Sunday, that day for me is a workday. Instead of choosing another day for my Sabbath, I work through an ambitious to-do list every day of the week, then wonder why I’m always feeling so tired.
God ordained the Sabbath (Genesis 2:2–3), and His Son reminded us that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). This is a day God purposed for our benefit, to restore us physically, mentally, and spiritually—and to give balance to our lives.
More than ever, we need a Sabbath day, and, yes, even a Sabbath month or year, to recharge our spent energy, refocus our goals, redirect our steps, and renew stalled-out dreams.
Thank You, God, for the renewal a Sabbath brings. Amen.
Read and meditate on Psalm 23
(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.