Rest does not come naturally for me.
Friends tell me I burn the candle at both ends, but I think that I keep the candle burning all the time. I suspect that’s because I grew up on a working dairy farm. The cows required milking twice a day. In between milking sessions, we worked in the fields, repaired fences, tended the garden, bailed hay, gathered eggs, and did whatever else needed doing. Seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, we worked.
We took pride in our work. After all, we produced milk and other food items people needed, nurtured the land’s fertility, and paid our bills. We even enjoyed aspects of our daily routine. Other people admired our family because of our work ethic. Good and needful work brought rewards.
Work fueled me so much that I didn’t learn how to rest. I couldn’t imagine turning loose of life’s daily responsibilities for a little while. What if something went wrong or unattended while I rested? I carried this inability to rest with me when I left the farm to pursue other tasks.
Eventually, I wore out. Only then did I come to grips with the story of God taking a day to rest. The longer I reflected on the story, the more I realized that it implies God trusted God’s creation to run itself for a while. I imagined the discipline required of God to step back from the good work God loved. And I resolved to try to follow God’s lead. As an act of faith, I began to try to practice Sabbath.
I’ve never regretted the decision. As it turns out, God got it right when God stamped Sabbath into the pattern of creation.
Do you practice Sabbath? If not, why not? Are you willing to try?
Thank you, Creator God, for the gift of Sabbath. Grant me enough wisdom to accept and use your gift. Amen.