Sunday, November 2, 2008

Seeking the Sabbath

I have been thinking often lately of how parched I've been feeling in my spiritual life. I have been so busy adjusting to two children and starting MOPS and everything else that life is filling up with that I haven't been spending much time in contemplation and prayer. It's interesting how easily a focus on faith can disappear in our culture. It often seems that so much else is placed in higher priority than our relationship with the one who created us. I am not just talking about the worldly people that surround us, but Christians as well. We may speak as though Christ is the center, but our actions show what our true priorities are. We skip time with God for so many things. Work, sports, friendship, television, cleaning and creating an image of success (worldly success), ministry, and even family. Now, I am not suggesting that some of these are not important things, but my Lord should be at the VERY TOP of this list, even over my family (which should come second).

I was thinking about the sabbath and how it has either become a private thing that people observe without sharing, or it's something that we have forgotten. I would guess it is the latter. Why did God ask us to have this "day of rest"? I am not going to tell you that I completely have the answer. That is part of what my purpose is here. I want to seek the sabbath and all that was intended for us in that commandment. My goal is to set aside this day each week in an effort to study and pray and meditate on my creator. This is not to say that I will forget how important it is to do all those things every day of the week, but I intend to be purposeful with this day in order to set it aside for Him.

This week I cleaned and organized a lot trying to get the house in order so that once Sunday came I wouldn't be focused on the mess that surrounded me. I wanted to leave that behind with the previous week and move forward into a new week that started with a focus on my Lord. I made sure last night to tidy up the little things so that everything would be taken care of today. All that I could do to protect my plan was done.

My first day of attempting to observe the sabbath...guess what...it was hard. I came into it with good intentions, but didn't get that time I was looking for. Our morning started with meeting with our church. It was unfortunate that Smiles had a really rough morning there and was fussy so I couldn't focus on what was being said very much. I did get to participate in worship though, his noises weren't a distraction while loud music was playing. Curly wouldn't take a nap today after church, which is time that I had planned on putting dinner in the crockpot and then having some study and prayer time. I even sat with her and sang her to sleep, then when I left the room she woke up. Usually that doesn't matter. She will notice that I am leaving the room and cry for a second but be too far into sleepy land to wake up all the way. Today was not so lucky. Then we headed down to my parents house so that Handsome could have some alone time which he has been needing for weeks. The ride home was a bit stressful because Smiles was tired and wouldn't take his binky and cried most of the way, and I realized that I had left Handsome's cell phone behind. Tonight there was much going on and I didn't get the time I had planned either. Handsome had a show he wanted to watch and it was too loud for me to focus on study or prayer. I was distracted every time I tried.

The point is not to get frustrated by all the things that get in the way. The point is not to follow a rule or make it a legalistic thing. The point is to make time for God and protect it, to grow in faith by being more purposeful about all my time. Especially on Sundays. This week may not have started off the way I had hoped, but I will continue to try and I will learn from my mistakes. I will protect this day in my schedule and set it aside even though I know it will be a sacrifice at times. I want to benefit from the guidelines that my Father laid before me for a reason. I want for my life all the plans that He has for it. I want to serve Him above all else, not to get sucked into the important things of this short venture here in a world that is not my home.

I invite those of you that do not already to join me in observing the sabbath as well. Set one day per week aside with the intent to be restful and contemplative on our savior. There is no doubt in my mind that it will benefit my life...even if it doesn't happen how I want it to every week.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I abolutely love this Amber and will join you in this venture. Your words are so very true and it was very moving for me.

I think that today you experienced a spiritual attack. The enemy wants to prevent you (and me) from spending quality time with our Lord. What are the odds that this morning would mark Ben's first time of being fussy at church? And... the message this morning complimented nicely to everything you talked about in this blog. Very interesting!!!