For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Archive for June, 2014

Mortality

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

More and more studies are coming out that support the need for rest.  exhaustedwoman on bedAmericans, in particular, are overworking, over scheduling and over functioning to the point of exhaustion.  As a result more and more stress related illnesses are popping up and we become less productive rather than more when we work non-stop.

We were not created to work 24/7.  Matthew 224/6 is ok but not 24/7.  In fact, there is a book out by that name, 24/6 and in it the author, Dr. Matthew Sleeth, speaks about the effect of our frenetic lifestyle on our bodies, our relationships and our economy.  And it is not good.

Yet, our God, in God’s infinite wisdom gave us a day off each week to refresh, renew and rest.  If you’ve been reading this blog for even a month, you know that is the theme.  I reiterate it today because I want to put it in a bigger context.

Mortality.  Our spiritual mortality to be exact. 

Tielhard de Chardin wrote that we are not humans on a spiritual journey but spiritual beings on a human journey.  On this journey we experience both what it means to live as a human and what it means to die.  As Christians we believe our dying reunites us with our Creator; but if we are spiritual beings, then we need to be united with our God in this life as well.   How we choose to live can keep us connected to our Creator or it can move us farther and farther away.  The farther away we move, the more damage we do to our spiritual tether.

Without taking a Sabbath pause to experience the gift of resting in God’s arms, we choose to ignore our spirit’s need to be linked to its source of life.  And in doing that we begin to die in our spirits and as studies are showing in our bodies as well. 

As Andrew Wylie wrote:  “The Sabbath is the link between the paradise that has passed away and the paradise that is yet to come.”Woman praising and enjoying golden sunset

Why would we deny ourselves a taste of paradise that is offered with God’s blessing, grace and mercy each week? 

“Step out of traffic!  Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”  Psalm 46.10 The Message.

Blessings

Nancy

 

A Spiritual Jump Start

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

It happened again yesterday.  A deeply committed Christian told me she feels guilty if she takes time for herself to read, study and be with God because there is so much work she has to do for other people – for God.

I fear we have taken the James passage to its extreme – ‘show me your faith apart from your works and I, by my works will show you your faith’.   (James 2.18)   I do not believe this means that if we work all the time for God  prayingthat makes us more faithful than if we take time to be alone with God.  Being alone with God is part of our call as well.  Time spent alone with God and being usable to God are two sides of the same coin.  We can’t have one without the other.

God commanded us to stop and rest, to pray, to worship, to fellowship and to be with friends and family for a weekly renewal.  Jesus took time to withdraw and go off and pray even when there was much work to be done and crowds of people waiting for him.  He also tells the Pharisees that the Sabbath is made for man and not the other way around.  (Mark 2.27)

Our spiritual energy center needs to be replenished and refreshed and taking Sabbath moments renews us and makes us more productive not less.  spiritual energy

God has given us a body that runs on energy.  We have four energy centers – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  If one of these centers is depleted, the other three must make up for it.  If that goes on for too long, then all the centers get depleted and we begin to feel burnout and lethargy. 

Constantly ignoring the need to restore our spiritual energy is a recipe for exhaustion and moves us farther and farther away from our energy source – God.

So, please, no more guilt for taking down time with God. 

The seventh day this week is June 21 – the longest day of the year.  Why not start with some bonus time to slow down and reconnect with God to get your spiritual batteries recharged?

“for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20.11

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

Transitions

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Transitions can be tough.  It is easy to lose your sense of place and self while ‘living in a strange land’.  Your normal routine is interrupted and it feels like nothing is in its right spot.

At least that is how the last couple of weeks have felt to me.  And being a person who needs her own personal space, it was particularly stressful. 

I can see why the Hebrews, while in exile, were ‘religious’ about keeping Sabbath.  It was part of their familiar routine.  It could take place anywhere.  It was part of their identity and kept them connected to each other and to God.  It was, and still is, life-giving time. 

wind up downAnd this is where I contributed to my own stress. I did not take Sabbath time during those two weeks.  Now perhaps had it lasted more than two weeks I would have realized my folly but for those two weeks I was oblivious.  Yes, I know, I should be practicing what I preach but, alas, I don’t always. 

During this time I noticed a restlessness and an inability to feel at ease in my own skin.  There was a sense that something was not quite right and instead of slowing down to listen to my body and spirit I kept pushing forward.  Only when I did stop long enough to pay attention and sort things out did it hit me!  Without Sabbath moments and Sabbath time, my body and soul are disconnected and I don’t feel whole or integrated.

I wonder how many other people feel this way without knowing why.  And I wonder just how taking time for Sabbath might change the frantic rush of our lives. 

As a wise man once said, “It is not we that keep Sabbath, it is the Sabbath that keeps us.” 

After these last two weeks all I can say to that is “Amen.”

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”  Psalm 116.7

Blessings,

Nancy

 

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