This past weekend I had the privilege of meeting with a group of women who I’m leading through a yearlong discipleship journey. Our focus: Rest. After reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan we cleared our schedules and set aside our to-do lists to reflect on what we’re learning. Prior to meeting I asked my friends to consider this: What is God saying to me about rest? What am I going to do about it?
Although I had asked the questions, I wasn’t sure how I would answer. I did know that for the past couple weeks I’ve felt particularly restless. The restlessness wasn’t a lack of peace, but it seemed to be tied to a weariness I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Was it the grief of losing my friend so quickly and unexpectedly? Was it my dissatisfaction with my schedule? Or did it have more to do with Sabbath?
One by one we shared convictions about rest, Sabbath, neglecting to listen for the Holy Spirit, and being distracted from our purpose. And as we did we practiced repentance before God and one another.
Through this time of confession and prayer I realized how regularly we give mental assent to truth that we read or hear, but how we often fail to take the next step of repentance and asking the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts. It’s easy to agree with an idea, but it is much harder to humble ourselves enough to submit to the discipline of confession.
Over the past 6 months or so I’ve neglected to observe the Sabbath. Don’t get me wrong, it looked like I was observing the Sabbath: Attending church, taking an occasional Sunday afternoon nap and enjoying time with my family. But little by little I found myself working on Sunday evenings: Throwing in a load or two of laundry, writing a last minute blog, or balancing my checkbook. There are no hard and fast rules for Sabbath-keeping, but the overarching principle is resting in God’s sovereignty.A Sabbath heart is restful even in the midst of unrest and upheaval. –Mark Buchanan Click To Tweet
I see now that I need to cultivate a Sabbath heart right along with my practical practices of Sabbath. In order to set aside time to develop this practice I will take a rest from blogging for 5 weeks. I’ve never taken an extended break since I started in September of 2012. During this self-imposed Sabbatical I will take time to…
Be fully present in the moment
Reflect on the faithfulness of God
Dream about the future
Listen with attentiveness
Do you feel restless? God is inviting you to take a Sabbath rest. Change starts with a renewed vision of what could be by the power of the Holy Spirit.Take a reprieve from obligation. Take a Sabbath rest. – Angela Howard Click To Tweet
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2 (NIV, 1984)
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