Grace and Peace to you.
I’m going to take a break from Unfolding Light for a week. I love writing this; it’s part of my morning prayer routine. And I know it’s something that others count on. But for that very reason it’s a good thing to stop every once in a while. It reminds both me and you that we can survive without this.
At a meeting at church recently the leader asked us, “What do you long for?” One response was, “Four days without anybody needing me.” I thought, “That’s what the Bible calls Sabbath.” Sabbath is not a requirement, not a list of things we can’t do. It’s freedom from having to do them. That’s hard for us to grasp in this culture in which we are addicted to busyness. Part of the addiction is the belief that we have to be useful, we have to be accomplishing something, we have to justify our existence. And Sabbath says, No, you don’t. You just have to be. Your worth in this world is not defined by what you do, even for those who really count on you. Ultimately what we need to be able to count on is not is that people serve us but that they are themselves. Sabbath is an invitation to be yourself and do nothing else, even for a little while.
Dare to make sabbath time for yourself—for yourself—a little bit each day, each week, each month. Trust that this radical act of self-emptying is actually for God. God commanded the Sabbath not to get us to follow rules, but for our sake: to give us permission to be ourselves without any requirements, without anybody needing us to do anything. Sabbath is freedom, and God wants nothing more than for us to be free, and to be ourselves.
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