A Real Sabbath

During my three years at SonRise, I took off on Fridays.  At my new post, I’m considering two changes: taking more of a Sabbath than just a day off, and switching from Fridays to Thursdays.

In the past, Friday simply meant sleeping in, taking my time, not having to hurry my Bible time in order to get ready for work, eating a fattening lunch, listening to a couple sermons on my iPod, reading fiction, and watching movies that Carolyn won’t watch with me (meaning anything that’s not animated and not starring Hilary Duff).

But the Bible talks about us not just taking a day to chill out, but to spend it with God.  So here are some of the things I want to start doing on my Sabbath days:

  • Get up at a decent time: My days of sleeping until noon are long gone, but I still sleep later than I should sometimes on a Sabbath/day off.  This can make me feel rushed through the rest of the day.   
  • Prayer: I pray during the week, but it seems like I’m always rushed.  That’d be great to have times of prayer where my mind’s not hurrying ahead to what’s next.
  • Bible study: Like prayer, this often seems rushed.  It’d be nice to have a time at least once a week when I can study for however long I feel like it.
  • Extended meditation: By “meditation” I mean thinking about a bite-sized portion of Scripture, not sitting cross-legged and going, “Ooooommm….  Oooooommmm…..”  Like everything else on this list so far, I try to make this a daily practice, but it’s never long enough.
  • Communion: Communion was actually made to be shared with a group of other Christ-followers.  But I’ve thought about doing this alone with God once a week for a simple reason–it’s way too easy to forget what Jesus did for me on the cross.  By taking communion alone with God, it gives me opportunity to really reflect on what it means to have God become a Man and die for my sin on a cross.  I see in this the possibility to majorly adjust my attitude and the condition of my heart and mind.
  • Listening prayer: I talk too much, and God is not spared from this flaw of mine.  But seeing as how He’s God and everything, I figure I should give Him my undivided attention at least once a week.  A rather paltry starting point, actually.
  • Evaluation: Socrates said that the unreflected life is not worth living.  An overstatement, perhaps… but not by much.  I want to set aside a time on my Sabbath to reflect on how I’ve lived the past week and think about how I might live better in the coming week.  I need to ask: Am I being effective?  Am I doing what I should be doing?  Am I making progress?
  • Reflection: There are things I just need to think about, but usually I’m too distracted or short on time to just sit and think.  I love even the thought of having unhurried time to just sit and think. 
  • Weekly journaling: I need to write stuff down.  My reflection, evaluation, meditation, and other stuff is half wasted if I don’t put it on paper.  Plus, writing is the best way (for me at least) to process and develop my thoughts.

The reason I’m considering moving this Sabbath from Friday to Thursday is mainly because of my preaching and writing rhythm.  I want to have the coming Sunday’s sermon written out in manuscript form and put in outline form by the time I leave the office on Wednesdays.  That way I have a day to clear my mind, and on Friday I can study the manuscript and memorize the outline.  Since Friday is only a couple days before Sunday, it will be fresher in my mind.  If I tried to do this on Thursday, I wouldn’t have the advantage of letting my mind rest for a day before internalizing the message; and, of course, it wouldn’t be as fresh in my heart and mind on Sunday.  Another benefit is that I can be in the office on Fridays to be part of the little kids’ weekly Bible Story Time.

But I’m still indulging in the fattening lunches.

Published in: on May 10, 2007 at 9:53 am  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://nathanhyde.com/2007/05/10/a-real-sabbath/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I frequently take communion alone with God and Jesus,It is rewarding beyond belief, incidently I have been doing it for some time even before I rededicated my life to Jesus. My problem lies in not taking time for meditation, with our son the way he is and the type of work i have we are usually exhausted by the time he is asleep. Reflection is great, during celebrate recovery I read the serenity pray in the long version. I have seen it written, usually on posters but never thought about it, Taking the world as it is just as Christ did when He came to earth opened my eyes to my complaining about things like the price of gas, God will take care of me, something I forget when arguing politics, but I can always hope for a better world and I am still who I am in my beliefs and opinions about governmental things. Stay away from carbs try Subway for lunch.

  2. Haha…great stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: