Remember the good ol' days, when Sunday was a day of rest. All the stores were closed. We went to church and came home to have Sunday dinner.
In our house, a nap followed dinner. Supper was popcorn and soda while watching the Wonderful World of Walt Disney. Other times, Sunday was spent with family and friends, playing games and fellowshipping. We didn't acknowledge it as Sabbath Rest, but that is what it was.
Gradually over time, the traditional day of Sunday as a day of rest ended. Stores opened up, and shopping days switched from Saturday to Sunday. Sunday was one of the busiest days at Hancock's. Other businesses opened on, and many people had to work that day. The concept of a day of rest became replaced with the 24/7 mentality. We lost sight of the importance of Sabbath rest.
As a result, anxiety, and depression levels are at an all-time high. Family units have broken down, and finances are out of control. And people are just tired. We were not designed to be on the go, mentality and physically, all the time. People are starting to realize they can't keep this up. Self-care is a hot topic, but no amount of self-care can replace a day of Sabbath rest.
What does a day of Sabbath rest look like?
Set aside one day per week to do no work. Keep it holy means to set it apart. The original Sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. This was the day observed by early Christians. Over time, a "Christian Sabbath" was observed. Christians took Sunday-the day of the resurrection, as their Sabbath Rest. If Saturday or Sunday doesn't work for you, pick one that does.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work" Exodus 20: 8-10
Rest your body. Sleep in, take a nap, or just sit and rest your eyes.
Rest your mind. Let go of all your cares and worries. Don't "go to work" in your mind. This will take some discipline.
Rest your spirit. Practice "be still and know that I am God".
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:6-8
Worship and Listen
When is the last time you took more than a few minutes to worship and sit in God's presence. During you Sabbath Rest, take time to worship the Lord. Soak in His presence. Turn off you mind, focus on that place where He is in you. Rest in Him. Rest in His goodness, rest in His grace and rest in His mercy. Rest in His love and listen for His voice.
Play, have fun
Remember the old proverb "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". We are children in God's eyes, and children need to play. Playing adds joy to your life, it releases endorphins that make you feel good. Playing reduces stress and increases creativity. Playing with others build up relationships and enhance our communication skills.
I realize that a whole day may not be possible right now. Start with a few hours or half a day.
I haven't got to the point where I set aside one full day per week for this. I guess God having me write this is His way of prompting me to do so. I do take a full day each month as a personal retreat.
Set aside your need to be productive and trust God. He can make you more productive in 6 days than you would have in 7. Sabbath Rest is about building and maintaining relationships, with family and friends, but most importantly with God.
This day is a celebration, so don't get legalistic about it. Your mind might wander, and the next thing you know, you are working. You may get called into work, it may be your turn to cook for the family, or someone may need your help. Don't let condemnation get ahold of you. Let the peace of God guard your heart and refresh your soul.
Do you take a day of Sabbath rest? What do you do on that day?