5 Reasons I Still Struggle with Sabbath

When we live a blurred and hurried life, at the core of our busyness is an illusion that kills the life within us!Ever since I was a boy, I heard about the 10 Commandments.  Most of them made sense but one still messes with me until this very day. Here are five reasons I still struggle with Sabbath:

  1. I still believe in the illusion that I don’t need to stop.

As a type “A” personality, I have to face it: Going is better than stopping. Doing more seems more doable than doing less. Pausing, stopping, ceasing and resting are not in my mother tongue’s vocabulary. I speak “Let’s get ‘ur done!” Since working hard was modeled for me as a boy by the men in my life, I absorbed an ethos that I now see, decades later, has wreaked havoc in my soul and done violence to my life by choosing to always to more—not less—at least one day a week. 

  1. I sometimes do not believe in the sovereignty of God.

 When you stop for one day a week, we are given the opportunity to lean into the sovereignty of God. I take my hands off the plow, off the keyboard; off the gear-shift of my high octane life and let go of trying to control my life. Sabbath gives us one day a week to take the hands off of the control shift of our life and to surrender to the spiritual act of letting go. I have to face the fact that in my core, I want control more than I want to let go. To practice letting go—for one day a week—is perhaps an ultimate sign that you really do trust God more than you trust yourself. 

  1. I don’t really believe in my well-being. I believe in my well doing more!

 Doing more always costs us. Always being “on” and always being “available” costs a person their well-being. When we are in our 20’s and 30’s we push and strive. We achieve and perform. In our 40’s we begin to question this credo—yet secretly because we don’t want to be labeled “normal” or average. If we do more, then perhaps we believe, we can finally arrive. But well-being is state of being that requires a day a week to cease; to enjoy—to delight in something other than work and performance. 

  1. It’s easier to work than to rest.

 Keeping a day as a Sabbath is one of the 10 Commandments. God knew from the beginning that we would work, strive and live by the sweat of our brow. So when we practice Sabbath—we are practicing one of the oldest spiritual practices ever given and known to humanity. Just as we are told not to kill, steal and cheat on our spouses, we are told to rest one day a week. To choose to practice Sabbath is to intentionally chose to resist our culture. [tweetthis]Sabbath keeping, for me, is counter cultural as well as counter-intuitive.[/tweetthis] Sabbath keeping does not make sense to so many of us. As we lean into this ancient practice, we soon realize that God’s ways are truly not our ways. We would never cease; never stop; never Sabbath and that is our undoing. It has been my undoing in my life, my fathering and my being a husband. When I practice Sabbath, I am reminding myself “I do not want to be undone any more. “ Sabbath helps me really live. 

  1. Money seems more powerful than trust.

 At the root of Sabbath is the power of mammon—money. God’s intent in helping us rest is to help us put money in perspective. Money is not really everything. Money does not define us when we are burned out and used up. The rival God of the 21st century is money and Sabbath keeping deflates the over-inflated ego of the dollar—no matter what currency you use. When we Sabbath—note I uses this as a verb and not a noun—we live with bigger goals in mind and heart. Money intoxicates the soul. Sabbath puts everything into perspective. When we Sabbath, we live smaller lives and being small, one day a week is a very good thing for the soul.  For more help on Sabbath and living a rhythm of life that sustains you, and doesn't drain you, please get and read Chapter 5 of Inside Job: "Exposing the Lie of Being Balanced." Order the book here and get started!  Order Inside Job and the accompanying workbook here!