What is Sabbath?

When Shasta and I used to meet for discipleship, we had a series of questions we talked through. Most of the questions were difficult to answer, because I often found that I don’t know myself as well as I think I do. However, one of the questions was particularly difficult for me, and I’m not sure why. That question was, “Have you practiced Sabbath rest and relaxation this week?”

Now, part of the problem with this question is that I feel ungrateful if I answer honestly sometimes. The truth is that true Sabbath rest and relaxation is hard to find – or at least it is for me. In order to feel relaxed and focused on God, I have to feel good about how much work I’ve gotten done at work and at home. I have to have all of my bills paid, the dishes under control, the bathrooms cleaned without an unreasonable lapse of time having gone by. I have to be caught up on reading fiction and non-fiction. I have to have blogged well and recently. I have to have worked on my manuscript. Additionally, my body has to feel good, which is a tough one, because it’s  not just about exercise. Sure, I need to feel fit, which usually means running, but I also have to feel flexible and loose – yoga and massage. I have to feel like I’m eating relatively well. And, finally, I have to feel at ease in all of my relationships. That doesn’t mean things have to be perfect, or that there can’t be conflict; it just means that I can’t have neglected anyone.

So… I end up truly experiencing Sabbath rest and relaxation about once every three or four months, if that. The rest of the year, I feel incredibly guilty that I haven’t done everything that needs to be done.

Have you practiced Sabbath rest and relaxation this week?


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