Now that I have your attention, if you think this is a drug culture reference, you’re new here, so welcome! But no, this has nothing to do with drugs. As a matter of fact, it is from the Bible. You see in the ten commandments we are instructed to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it Holy. It is to be a day where no work is done. Later in the law, a penalty is issued for God’s people who break the Sabbath. The penalty is death, more specifically stoning.
Now of course, we don’t do that anymore, but I am sort of stuck at this place. You see I believe that God knew how hard it would be to get people to take a break and trust Him and so He made the penalty quite severe. Essentially the law was saying rest or die.
Now I know some of you will want to challenge me for being legalistic, so just to be clear, I’m not. And some of you might want to quote Jesus and say, “The sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” I agree with that too, but look at what we just said. “The Sabbath was made for man.” Who made it? God. Why did He make it for man? As a gift to give us margin to rest from our labors and reconnect with God and so I revisit my original question.
Would my Sabbath get me stoned?
Last week was for the most part a good week. In the first few days, I prepped for and had a colonoscopy, which was necessary and productive, but hard to call it good. The day after the test, I packed up the van and went to the church planting conference for my denomination where I both sowed into other people and then got sown into and that was great. Then I traveled home and ministered at my church where we have a great service. Then finally I got home. It was a great time but I was very tired, and since pastors work Sundays, I decided today, Monday, would be my Sabbath, a day of rest and here’s where I get twisted up.
You see my main job is ministry, so I didn’t do any church work. I spent some time on my hobby (see the pic above). The problem was there were a few things that needed to be done. Having been away all last week and with it having rained every day, my grass was high and rain is forecasted for the next few days, there were also a few other things that got neglected while I was away, so I tended to them as well. The whole time, I sat there thinking, “Is this the way I should be spending a Sabbath?” I don’t really have a good answer to this. There’s always something that comes up in this hyper busy life, yet I also know there have been times in my life where my negligence on rest has forced my body to make me rest. I also know that part of the reason God was so strict on Sabbath was because we have a tendency to live as if everything depends on us and conversely as if we can’t depend on Him.
This difficulty is compounded in the life of us creatives. We often really love what we do, which blurs the lines. So here’s what I am going to try to do. I am going to try to set aside some time each day dedicated to the Lord and block that time out. I do this now, but I will be more intentional and “strict” (for lack of a better word) about it. During that time I will do nothing but things that connect me personally with the Lord. This means I will not sneak my sermon prep in there, but make it “me and Jesus” time. I will still try to still take a day as well. At the end of the day, rest is a gift from God the God who knows exactly what we need. We skip it at our peril, whether we get stoned or not.