I Got Your Back: Eliminating AnxietyJune 15, 2013
A note from Sam: This is our last Putting Green until September. We will be working on a project over the summer which you will hear about in the fall. Godspeed!
“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” Eugene Peterson
Ten weeks ago we started this dialogue about what God intends by commanding us to keep the Sabbath holy. As a recap, I’d like to cover a few of my “If you miss everything else don’t miss this” observations.
To – From: Is whatever you are considering doing on your Sabbath going to draw you to the Lord or from the Lord? This is far more important than, “Is this okay to do on Sunday?” During my Sabbath exploration, I have found some things naturally draw me towards the Lord, and others away from.
We’re not talking about going to church versus going to a strip club, but instead about weighing out options of good activities versus better/best activities. A walk in beautiful and lively downtown Greenville is nice, but a quiet walk in the woods drew me closer to the Lord.
The Sabbath is not about, “Can I do this?” but, “Is there something better I could be doing?” Something perhaps that will draw you closer to your Lord, to your spouse, to your children?
Set Apart: Holy means to “set apart,” so I looked for ways to set my Sundays apart. Little things, like lighting a candle on Sunday morning, not wearing a watch, sitting in a different room to spend my early morning with the Lord.
I start each Sunday morning reading the Sabbath commandment in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, to frame up the day. Monday – Saturday I drink my Chinese super-duper antioxidant “Pu-erh” tea, which is so healthy it is void of all taste, unless you think dirt has a taste. But on Sundays I indulge in my fake cappuccino.
These little things help remind me this is a different day, and I want to be mindful it is the Lord’s Day, not mine.
Not Mine: Self is my #1 combatant. I need to be reminded often I am not God, and I’ve found no quicker reminder than seeking to keep the Sabbath holy. Sadly, I want my way, all the time. But now, at least one day a week, I am letting God have his way with my … oops … his day.
Lighten Up – Tighten Up: Jesus used the Sabbath, with all its minutia of Jewish restrictions, to deliver his favorite message: “You people have tightened up in all the wrong places – your performance – and have lightened up where it matters most, your hearts.
You see, I can feel good about myself if I technically perform well, but Jesus is asking me to look into my heart, to be aware of the darkness lurking within. His Lighten Up – Tighten Up message penetrates throughout our lives, not just on Sundays.
We have tightened up our performance so no one can criticize our behavior, but we are loosy-goosy in our hearts, where it counts the most, allowing a vast variety of negative thoughts and emotions.
Garrison: The Barbarians of our noisy, frenetic and intrusive culture are at the gate and they are never turning back. But the Sabbath can be the foundation of the garrison God will help you build to guard against these invasions.
A day set apart to the Lord, from your everyday pressing and stressing, can serve to protect you from all the electronic intrusions, busyness and clutter, and even against those inner voices crying out: “Do something! Accomplish something! For crying out loud, you can’t just relax all day.”
But you can. God knows you need to, so he commanded you to do so.
Rhythms: Everything about our existence, our universe, yes even our bodies, is designed by God with a rhythm in mind. I am learning to bring the Sabbath into my life as a way of getting into his rhythm, and as I have, I see how this permeates the other six days, creating a more harmonious flow, rather than a herky-jerky, reacting approach to life.
Conclusion: The Sabbath commandant is the most repeated commandment in all of scripture – by far. What I have learned about the Lord is anything so important to him, is only so important to him, because he knows how important it is for us.
One thing is for sure, the Sabbath is much bigger than just a day to rest, and it is far beyond just what we should and should not do that day. God intends for his Sabbath to transform your life. How, I’d not sure. But I am sure he is sure.
So rest in this knowledge that he loves you perfectly, and knows exactly what you need to flourish and thrive. You need his rest, and you need his rhythm.
You need his Sabbath.
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Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved