Community Post: When You’re Too Tired for Sabbath

Blog / Produced by The High Calling

We haven’t gone to church regularly in weeks. A long winter, work schedule changes and a church move at the beginning of the year have left us in the middle. Facing a string of sabbath free weeks turned spiritual black hole. And the bounced check void I feel when acknowledging the tiny tears that led to this canyon sized chasm. None of it feels good.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been intentional about keeping sabbath. Regular church attendance required the real life work of getting a family into the building on time. Once there, it meant hustling off to dance ministry or stewarding my toddlers through bathroom and snack breaks. One of these days they’ll sit through a sermon but until then, we hang out in the hallway. Our only “day off” had become a job. The days before, a nonstop schedule of chores and activities. With all we have going on we’re almost too tired for sabbath.

In this season of very little church going I’ve struggled to find equilibrium. My feet hover just out of reach…the solid rocks a sure thing, but I don’t feel grounded. It seems our life, our struggles, our plans have gotten in the way. We’re out of balance.

So although I feel the very worst conviction about our lack of consistent attendance I’m settled with finding sabbath wherever I can. Perhaps its time to expand my vision of what sabbath can be. Observe His commandment to keep it holy by living the sabbath wherever I find it.

I find sabbath on the subway. In my daughters toothless grin as she runs to me declaring “It came out”. Sabbath finds me when I say no to blogging even when I don’t want to. When I say no to link ups and blog hops and read His words…instead of writing my own. I find sabbath when my youngest 2 surprise me with synchronized naps. Sabbath waits for me in the early morning rush of the city – at least 3 times a week God meets me in my car during alternate side of the street parking.

He’s there. Always to be found in the hushed holy, in time for reflection. God peace in the middle of my storm.

Sabbath calls us. The plumb line to our hearts, God uses the need for sabbath to draw us to him. The holy wonder of a nap, a walk, time out in a corner with a good book. Sabbath is about rest but it’s also about silence – entering God inspired stillness where I can hear Him speak. For me it’s about shutting, even a little, of the regular noise out. The sounds we’ve become accustomed to and don’t hear anymore… sounds that color and cover our spiritual white space.

Funny how our spirits cry out for God..having known, we want to know more. We crave God encounters and whether we realize it or not we look for him. Everywhere and in everything we do.

I also find sabbath in service. Service is the connective tissue…it ties me to Jesus. Anchoring me through discipline. Even obligation. When I commit myself through service to the kingdom and His people, I find God meets me in the middle of my promise. He gives the holy water refreshment I need to keep growing.

The word is alive and living in me. The church is a building. I miss it. I’ll get back to it. Until then I’m grateful for this wandering season. When I took the time to look… I found sabbath everywhere.


Reclaiming Sabbath Keeping

Sabbath is more than a day off. It is a turning of the entire being toward God—a time set apart to contemplate life and work and praise the Creator for it all. The Christian observance of Sabbath is set apart by its lack of rules—there is no strict way to keep Sabbath in Christianity. It’s not a “must” of our faith. And yet, to ignore this fourth commandment is to miss some of God's richest blessings for his people. In this series on Reclaiming Sabbath Keeping we explore what the Christian Sabbath might look like and glimpse some benefits and challenges of Sabbath-keeping in today's productivity-driven culture. Join us in the conversation and invite others along by sharing these stories through email or your social media networks.