A Time to Stop Creating

Posted: May 31, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. It’s just a day. The beginning of the Bible shows God in creative “frenzy.” Please don’t take that as negative or disrespectful, that’s not how I mean it, but most of the artists I know speak of these times when everything is just lining up. Inspiration aligns with ability, ideas come in abundance and you almost can’t create fast enough. For six days, God had been going full steam ahead creating one thing after another speaking idea after idea after idea into existence. And then he stopped. Six days, it was finished, He created His last creation (us) looked at all He created, said it was very good and took a break from creating. One day.

Years later, He commanded His people to do the same, take one day out of the week and do no work. He was so serious about it, that to work on this day of rest, was a capital offense. At least for a while, but eventually, the people began to ignore the command. Then God allowed them to be taken captive for seventy years, essentially to giveth land a break for all the time the Sabbath had been ignored. God is serious about rest.

Now I know I will hear someone say “We don’t live under the law, we live under grace.” That is correct and Jesus did say “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.” but read that sentence again. “The sabbath was made for man…” Translation, the sabbath is a gift from God. Many faiths, including many sects of Christianity, celebrate Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, while the majority of Christians have decided to celebrate on the day Jesus rose from the dead, the first day. The fact that not everyone agrees as to which day to celebrate the Sabbath probably accounts for the origins of the five day work week, with both Sabbaths being observed. I honestly don’t believe the day matters as much as the fact that we take the break.

First of all, if the God of the universe took a break from creating, what makes you think you don’t need to? Secondly, I think God commanded the Sabbath to show us that it doesn’t all depend on us, that if we take a break, the world will keep on turning, that He is more than capable of taking care of us and that we can (and we must) depend on Him. The Sabbath allows us to remember there is God and He is more than capable.

I’m not going to get all legalistic on you today. If you search yourself, you will already know you need a break, a rest. I am also not going to bother to define what constitutes work, because if you search your heart, and you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know what to lay down for the day and what needs to be done. Instead, I want to make three recommendations on ways to spend your Sabbath.

1. Worship God. Our dependence on God should drive us to worship Him. I’m of the belief that this is best done in church, in fellowship with other believers. Many people will argue with this, but it is easy to slip into pushing God to the borders, while we do whatever we want. A dedicated hour of structured worship tends to put our hearts at rest and focuses us on our need.

2. Spend time with people. Make memories. Bless your family. Spend time. It is a limited resource and investing it in people shows them they matter. Ask yourself, who haven’t I seen in a while? Who do I miss? Who has my busyness kept me from seeing? Connect with them. Call them or better yet go to see them. The unfortunate reality of this life is that people have a shelf life. Honor them while you have them because there may come a time when you’ll wish you had laid down your busyness and gave them your time.

3. Actually rest. Take a nap. Most people are run down and exhausted. God gave you a day of rest because you need it. He knows exactly what we can handle and when we need a break. It’s a day of rest. so rest. If you’re not tired, do some of those leisure things you wish you had time for the rest of the week. (Note the word “leisure” this is not a space to fill with the one more thing you wish you had just gotten done.)

Jesus was right. Sabbath was made for man. It’s God’s gift to you. Use it.

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