“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find out way back to our center.” Wayne Muller
We have days because the earth rotates in 24 hours. We have months because the moon revolves around the earth. We have years because the earth revolves around the sun. But why do we have seven day weeks? There is no scientific or natural reason.
God set it up this way. For a reason. For a rhythm.
So now the whole world operates on a weekly calendar designed and ordained by a God many despise, or have never heard of. During the French Revolution the people sought to do away with both the crown and the church, so they put in place a 10 day week to eliminate the Sabbath. During the Communist revolution a 5 day week was instituted for much the same reason.
Neither worked. They were out of God’s rhythm.
Why did God give us a seven day week?
God is all about rhythm.
From the solar systems, to the seasons, to your heartbeat, everything about our world, and even our bodies, is rhythmic. And everything about our world flows better and much easier when things are in rhythm. Including your life.
For the past two months I have been going to a Zumba class on Tuesday nights. I love it! At first, with absolutely zero rhythm, it was pure exercise: great exercise, but all work, no play. Now that I’m getting the rhythm the exercise has become dance, or at least Sam’s version of dance. Now I’m having fun and the sixty minutes fly by.
It is just so much easier and so much more enjoyable flowing with the rhythm.
Too many of us live Monday through Monday through Monday through Monday: weeks turning into months into years into decades. Can you relate? No A+ Life there.
But from the beginning God gave us a unique rhythm: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, stop.
Rest. Reflect. Rejuvenate. Set apart. Listen. Rhythm.
The Sabbath creates an ebb and flow for your week. For six days accomplish, go, get it done, achieve – the seventh day, stop. Breathe. Reflect. Listen.
The Sabbath has become both a rhythm breaker and rhythm setter for me over these past twenty weeks. I started by changing my routine into a rhythm. I did this mostly by just deciding to shift my perspective. Then God, as he so often wonderfully does, turned my changing into his transforming.
Each of us has a weekly routine of some sort. We eat meals, we work out, we have various work activities, as well as social. My Zumba class has become part of my weekly work-out rhythm. You might call it my weekly work-out routine; I call it my weekly rhythm.
On Wednesdays I eat and fellowship with my friend, Irv. It’s a mid-week part of the flow of my week. Like my new found rhythm in my Zumba class, my weeks are becoming easier and more enjoyable.
I feel like I’m drafting behind God, being pulled by his power, as a cyclist does in races.
On Fridays evenings I stop, and breathe … deeply. I light a candle. Go ahead and giggle at me. But I do. I breathe deeply. I try to avoid all socializing on Friday nights, because it throws off this rhythm.
And I do this again on Sunday mornings. I light a candle. I breathe deeply. I listen for God.
I let the grace of God flow over me. I feel his presence, his peace, his power. His rhythm.
Oh, I try to do this throughout the week, but it’s not the same as my Friday/Sunday rhythm.
Jesus painted the perfect portrait of this rhythm when he invited us to draft behind him:
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
“The unforced rhythms of grace.” Breathe this in. Let these unforced rhythms of grace flow over you. Start with next Sunday, and light a candle. Breathe … deeply. Reflect. Relax. Listen for God to speak to you. He’s real. He will.
If You Want a Little More:
“If the moments of your day-to-day life were recorded as musical notes, what kind of music would they make? Would they sound like a breezy pop song or hard-driving rap music? Or would they sound like a beautiful symphony with structured pauses that give resonance to the notes?” Eugene Peterson
I may be doing a poor job of articulating this idea of rhythm, but God set it up this way, from the very beginning, mind you, so my advice is to talk to him about it. Ask him why he set up a seven day week, and asked (commanded) us to stop on that seventh day. Ask him to help you find his rhythm. He’s real; he’ll respond.