Be whole and holy: Just keep Sabbath

Friday is my day off -- the one day when I try to cram in everything that didn't get done in the previous six days. On a recent Friday, I mowed the lawn before 9 a.m., before the heat index would push 100. Then I had an appointment in Columbia.


I returned and started laundry and housework. In the evening, I went to a church function, came home, cleaned some more, sorted through a stack of papers and finally went to bed.

That was my Sabbath -- my day of rest -- and it is probably a lot like yours.

If there is anything we pride ourselves on, it is being busy. We compare our long hours with friends in a perversion of the old "keeping up with the Joneses" mindset.

We take pride in how we are bone weary because people need us -- we are just a call away because we are that important.

Long ago, God stepped into that insanity and said, "Enough. Stop. Catch your breath."

It was so important to God that it was made into a commandment. Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy; it's No. 4 on the Ten Commandments. It is the only one we all break and are congratulated for doing so. No one pats us on the back if we steal or commit adultery or murder. We know those are moral absolutes, but we forget that Sabbath-keeping is also an absolute.

Many people are away right now on vacation trying to do just that -- trying to cram a year's worth of Sabbaths into a couple of days. What would happen if we reclaimed the Sabbath and let God run the world while we rest?

In The Message paraphrase of Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, "Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life."

If you don't know what time for the Sabbath looks like, then think of "beach time." Beach time is where you sleep late, then roll out of bed to see what the ocean is doing. After a couple of hours, you're exhausted, so you go in for lunch and a nap. Then you get up and return to the water, play golf, read or shop. Later, you might go out for dinner, and by 9 p.m. you are so tired that you go to bed. And everyone thinks that was a productive day. It was. It was Sabbath.

What and when will be the Sabbath for you? Today? Next week? Or will you wait to end up in the hospital when your body has had enough? Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Remember, so that you may be made whole.

The Rev. Cynthia Taylor is the pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Most Holy Comforter in Martinez.



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