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Unhurried Rhythms

Sabbath

By February 7, 2022No Comments

Speaker: Tyler McKenzie

Week Six Devotional

By Melinda Gividen

I have this strange ability to remember very specific conversations and interactions with people that most would say are not memorable. 

Unfortunately the ones that are burned in my memory most, almost haunting me, are the ones that start with “I know you are busy, but…..”. It’s a gut check every single time someone says those words to me. It always makes me think – what is it about my behavior, my words, my actions, the speed I’m walking, talking, etc., that has told this person I am too busy for them? Have I worn my busy as a badge of honor? 

If you have recently thought “I just need to make it to spring break, then I can rest”, or any version of “I just need to make it to _______”, there is a good chance you are too busy. Too many of us have such unhealthy rhythms of rest. Not only does this prevent us from experiencing true physical rest, but the idea of connecting with God on a deep level spiritually goes out the window when we don’t have consistent, predictable rhythms of intentional time with Him. While this includes Sunday morning worship, we all need more than that! Something we often forget is that these moments of sabbath are preparing us for what we will experience in heaven – everyday will feel like a Sabbath day. What a gift that we can catch glimpses of that while we are here on earth! 

Too many of us are living at a pace that we were not designed to live. The concept of Sabbath is foreign and it is counter-cultural. In a world that says everything we do should be about ourselves and what we will gain, Sabbath is not that. Every time we stop and rest, we show God that our lives are not centered around work and productivity. We show God that we need Him in our lives. Sabbath rest is about slowing down long enough to allow God to transform us into who He needs us to be. 

When we accomplish nothing, God still loves us. What an important reminder! When we do less, God accomplishes even more through us than we could ever imagine, because it makes us more like Him. 

Let’s embrace the rest that He is offering us today! 

Reflect:

  1. On a scale of 1-10 how busy would you say you are right now? How would your close friends and/or family rate you on that scale? (Be honest!)
  2. What or who are you busy for? In other words, who benefits from your busyness? (your job, your kids, your dreams, etc.)
  3. Is your busyness helping you become more like Jesus, or less like Jesus? 
  4. What activity or worship practice makes you feel most connected to God? Is there a way for you to incorporate more of this time into your weekly schedule? (Examples: reading scripture, praying, being outside in God’s creation, fellowship with other believers, worshiping through singing)

Creating a Rhythm of Sabbath 

This week, choose at least one of these challenges:

  1. Conduct a time audit. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Are there obvious blocks of time in your schedule that allow you space for rest? 
    • How are you spending that time? Is God a central part of it? 
    • What is one small change you can make to include God in your time of rest? (Examples: Instead of turning the game on, read or listen to a passage of scripture. Another option: instead of feeling pressure to constantly do chores and housework, give yourself permission to just sit and think about all that God has blessed you with.)
    • Make a list of everything you will need to do before your Sabbath rest so that you can enter that time with a calm heart and mind.
  2. Practice saying no.
    • If you tend to overcommit, choose something in your life that needs to go. Maybe it’s something that leaves you feeling depleted, or something that you know takes your attention away from where God needs you to be. 
    • Cancel the commitment, or communicate a plan for removing yourself from it. You may feel like you’re letting someone down. Push through it anyway. Tell them what you’re trying to do. They may seem shocked – that’s ok! Remember, practicing Sabbath is counter-cultural. You may have an opportunity to help them understand God’s love a little better than they do now.
  3. Stop wearing your busy as a badge of honor.
    • Slow down. Be intentional with your words, actions, calendar, speed of walking, etc. Make it impossible for anyone to think you are hurried or stressed because of a jam-packed schedule.
    • The next time someone simply says “How are you?”, don’t talk about how busy you are. Talk about the rare moments you are finding to slow down to be with God. Talk about the beauty you’re finding all around you when you create space for it.

Tools for Creating a Rhythm of Sabbath

  1. Recommended Reading 
  2. Scripture about the Biblical Commandment of Sabbath
    • Genesis 2:3
    • Exodus 20:8-11
    • Deuteronomy 12:5-14
    • Isaiah 58:13-14
    • Ezekiel 20:19-20
    • Hebrews 4:9-10