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Learning to Observe Sabbath Moments

I came across a quote on Pinterest the other day that is unfortunately all too true and relevant for society today: “Stop the glorification of busy.”

In college, there was always an unofficial contest to see who got the least amount of sleep at night. Everyone wanted to be the person with the most work to do. Being busy made us feel accomplished. Being the busiest gave us the right to be exhausted. The sad reality is that this mindset continues after college.

Why do we insist on being so busy? I don’t think boredom is the main issue. I think we’re afraid of what we’ll have to face when we stop. Stopping to focus on God through prayer and meditation on Scripture can bring a lot of things to the surface we’ve tried to bury. If we’re honest with ourselves, working through our struggles as they arise is better than burying them and having them resurface later.

In a society that truly does glorify busyness, rest is often looked upon as laziness. If we need to take a moment to acknowledge our weaknesses and seek God’s help instead of being strong and pushing forward on our own all the time, we’re afraid others will look down on us. The truth is that observing the Sabbath and resting is not laziness or weakness, and God never intended for it to be a burden. God created the Sabbath after He created man, and this rest is intended as a gift for us. It is an opportunity for us to refresh physically and spiritually.

Sometimes I find myself working 10 days in a row before having one day off, and I usually spend that day catching up on everything I couldn’t do while I was working. I always work weekends, and while I do have the luxury of being able to attend church most Sundays, I never have the entire day off to rest. Between my job in retail and finishing articles for Monday’s newspaper deadline, my Sabbath has become a series of choppy stop-and-go moments. But I cherish those brief moments when I can stop and rest in God.

In the midst of my busyness, I’ve learned to seize small moments throughout the week to cease doing. Sometimes our Sabbath doesn’t fall on Saturday or Sunday, but the important thing is that we recognize and observe Sabbath moments.  It helps us refocus on God, and it opens our eyes to what He’s doing around us and in us. 

For me, sometimes this means sitting in my car after I’ve reached my destination to finish listening to a song on the radio that spoke to me in some way. Sometimes it means taking a 20-minute power nap before work or setting my cell phone aside and closing Facebook for a while. And sometimes it means taking a moment to admire God’s handiwork in the night sky when I get home from a closing shift at work. Because I tend to multitask, sometimes it even means focusing on only one thing at a time.

Sabbathing can mean waking up a little earlier to read the Bible and pray. Or it means using your lunch break at work to sit quietly somewhere and reflect on the day. It can mean fasting from social media or your cell phone for a day or even an hour. It’s OK to start small as long as we start.

How do you experience Sabbath moments during your day? How and where do you find rest to recharge spiritually and physically? If you find yourself too busy to Sabbath, I encourage you to seek out moments to rest. We should never be too busy to spend time with God. It might be a challenge for us to slow down, but God intends for us to rest.

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About the Author

Amy Kessler

Amy Kessler interned with the Boundless team in 2011 and is a journalism graduate from Biola University with a minor in biblical studies. She has experience in newspapers, magazines, blogging, social media and online content management. Amy lives in California where she works as a marketing assistant for a community college district and blogs about her spiritual life. She enjoys playing tennis, experimenting with HTML, and discussing marriage and relationships.

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