Today at church, Keith preached on the importance of the Sabbath. He said a lot of really cool and valuable things which I won’t go into much detail about here, but he did say something that struck me at my core. He said that Sabbath was not about making yourself worship God for an extended period of time rather, it was about doing something that brings you closer to God. He gave the example of his four-year-old son, Luke. Keith doesn’t go into work on Fridays (he takes those as his Sabbaths). On Thursday night he reminds Luke that he won’t be going into work the next day, and Luke lights up! He asks if he and Dad can play the next day—which they do.
Sabbath is about playing with God, it is not about working hard to submit ourselves to God’s commands. Our focus with God doesn’t always have to be about how we want to be transformed to look more like Jesus. It doesn’t always have to be super serious. Discipline is only one part of parenting. And, while it is completely integrated into everything, it is not the end all be all of parenting. Parenting also requires spending time with children on their terms in ways in which children feel totally and completely loved. For instance, when I was much younger, my dad always played games with my siblings and me on Friday nights. Most of the time we played History of the World, though we also played plenty of Monopoly. These times with my dad were very special. They highlighted, among other things, the fact that Dad valued us not because we knew how to behave, but because we were his children. God is the same way.
Keith challenged us to figure out what it was that we loved to do in which we could rest from our labour the other six days of the week but in which we could feel God present. He listed cooking, building, yard work, going on walks, reading, writing, making music, and many other things as possible suggestions. I searched my heart and quickly settled on a few things that make me tick.
2. Nature (reading while out in nature is a plus)
3. Writing (such as this blog post or, perhaps, poetry)
5. Working with my hands (next weekend I think I’m going to build a small table)
In any case, I feel amazingly joyful and excited about pursuing more of the things which give me rest and draw me nearer to God. God is kind and joyful, and in his kindness and joy there is contentment. Today is the day that the Lord has made.