In our hyperactive culture, it is challenging to simply pay attention to God. Our work-weeks are getting longer and our work-load is expanding by technology that allows us 24/7 connection to our work. That’s why we need a protected day to unplug and to let God be God. The Bible calls this day “Sabbath” and Jesus calls this day a gift, and it may be the most neglected gift among Christians today.
The problem with ignoring the Sabbath is that it hurts us and our families and our relationship with God. Warren Muller, a therapist, minister and author is convinced that modern society is a violent enterprise. We make war on our bodies by pushing them beyond their limits, war on our children by failing to given them our time, and war on our communities by failing to connect with our neighbors. To bring an end to this destruction, we will have to learn to observe the Sabbath.
My Sabbath is Monday, and it’s a day I share with Amy that is quantitatively different from the work patterns that mark the other six days. During our Sabbath we walk, talk, read, reflect, bike, hike, or enjoy a local excursion. And I try not to answer emails or phone messages that can wait until Tuesday, unless it’s an emergency.
Regardless of the type of activity, a true Sabbath will refresh and renew you. It will help you regain a proper perspective before God and it will create space for the Spirit to redirect your life toward what is good, and true and worthwhile.
There is much to do and there are always many needs to be met. It’s tempting to run the performance treadmill, assuming that productivity means motion and that inactivity is unproductive. But inactivity does not mean stagnation. The most productive time in the cycle of many plants is the dormant season, when it appears that nothing is going on, but the plant is being prepared for new, healthy growth.
It is more than OK to unplug to recharge. It’s more than OK to stop for a day to take a break—it’s essential for your well being and for the growth that God wants to cultivate in your life.
I encourage you to unplug to recharge. Make Sabbath a reoccurring appointment until it becomes a habit. You’ll honor God, your family and yourself. God’s gift of Sabbath is not just a practice of good faith; it’s also a practice of good living.