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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Remember the Sabbath


As You know, Father, our pastor is preaching through the Ten Commandments that You gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. He's doing a great job of making each Commandment relevant to our 21st Century lives. I'm taking notes & listening, Lord.

Sometimes I look at that list of Ten and I get to feeling pretty smug as I go down the list. I don't take Your name in vain, I don't worship false gods, I honor my parents, I've never killed anyone nor committed adultery. I don't steal and I try really hard not to lie. I've learned to be content with what I have & not covet other people's possessions. But there's one of the Ten that I must admit to breaking more than once. Well, actually, I break it a lot, don't I?

I don't use the Sabbath, the seventh day, as a day of worship & rest. I worship. I read my Bible & study my Life Group materials. But I do a lot of work on the Sabbath, too. When the weather's cooler I enjoy working in my garden. But that's not work to me--it's fun. Digging in the dirt, planting, weeding, harvesting are very pleasant & relaxing to me.

But You & I know, Lord, that I don't limit my activities to Bible study & relaxing things. I work. I push toward my goals. I plan the week and try to scratch things off that perpetual To-Do list to which I'm chained. I used to try to justify it by saying I relaxed on Saturday. But we both know that is hardly ever true; Saturday is my catch-up day.

I'm a workaholic, aren't I? I keep so many projects going that any bump in the road throws my schedule into a tizzy and me into "catch up" mode.

I hate that mode. I hate that feeling that I'm forever catching up.

You know, Lord, that I've struggled with resting & worshiping one day out of seven my entire adult life. I'm realizing (slowly) that it isn't an "issue" for me; it's a sin.

The fourth Commandment is clear, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work..."

For years I've been making excuses about why I need to use Sunday afternoon as a catch up time instead of giving it to You in worship & to myself for rest & relaxation. I've repented of this sin more times than I can count. And I've intended to set the day aside for rest & worship 1000 times.

But my projects, my To-Do list, beckons & I go running. As if my little agenda is more important than obeying the fourth Commandment. And didn't Jesus say that to break one of the Commandments makes me guilty of breaking them all?

When will I ever learn?


I know! I watch you running around like a hamster on steroids day after day. I watch you wearing yourself out and taking no regular times to recoup, refresh, re-calculate your life. It's a wonder you haven't run completely out of steam by now.

Have you ever considered that the principle of the Sabbath might be the same as the principle of tithing? You know, Little One, the principle that says I can & will enable you to do more with your 90% after you surrender My 10%, than you can ever do with the 100%.

Maybe the Sabbath principle is the same. Just maybe I can enable you to do more in your six days than you can ever do using My seventh. I guess you never thought of that, huh?

Maybe if you start honoring Me and respecting your own limitations by keeping a weekly sabbath you'll find that you accomplish a lot more in the other six.

Selah, Little One. Now what do you think of that?