Over the last year or so i’ve been experimenting with the different spirtiual disciplines. Practicing the Sabbath has been one of three that I have found to be an amazing addition to my life. The other two are fixed hour prayer and silence / solitude, which I will write about at a later time.
The book that I was turned on to as one of the best on the subject is Abraham Hescel’s “The Sabbath.” Before going further I want to share a few quotes from this book that stood out to me:
“It (Sabbath) is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.”
“Last in creation, first in intention, the Sabbath is the end of the creation of heaven and earth.”
“For the Sabbath is joy, holiness, and rest; joy is part of this world; holiness and rest are something of the world to come.”
“Sabbath is not a date but an atmosphere”
“For the Sabbath is a day of harmony and peace, peace between man and man, peace within man, and peace with all things.”
“Rest on the Sabbath as if all your work were done; rest even from the thought of labor.”
This book articulates amazingly how Sabbath was built into the creation of the world. With the corruption of the intention of an eternal Sabbath (that was God’s original intention) we are invited to realize that reality one day a week.
To take a day and set it apart, make it not like any other day of the week. Then, in that day, live as though it was the age to come. Sabbath is to be a day of delight, something to look forward to and to anticipate.
When you embrace this concept and spend six days planning for a day that is like no other, the anticipation of that planning and hope realized is, well heavenly.
It’s like when your planning a vacation six month’s in advance. You plan where you are going, who you are going with, what you will do when you are there, all the great places you will eat and drink. Then the day comes when you actually go on that vacation and enjoy the location, good company, have fun doing activities, eat and drink amazing things. All your planning and anticipation is realized in those moments and its like everything is right in the world.
Sabbath is a lot like that. For six days you plan for an amazing day. Plan whatever gives you peace, joy and happiness. Plan an amazing meal, go hiking, swimming, go to the beach, go fishing or whatever you love to do. Enjoy good company and good conversations. Sit and marvel in the wonder of creation. Plan and anticipate for 6 days your ideas for the best day of the week and then rest in the fulfillment of those plans. Plan a vacation once a week and rest in that moment.
Too often I think people think Sabbath means to just be lazy and lay around all day. Quite the contrary doing what you love that gives you peace, brings you joy and delight; that is the kind of rest, peace, joy, and happiness God invites us to intentionally create one day a week.
My own experience with this has proven profound. Time slows down on this day. Lasting memories with family and friends are created. Priorities are re-aligned on this day. Clarity of work and life is grounded on this day.
Intentionally plan and realize heaven on earth one day a week. Plan, design, and create a day where you do the things that bring you joy, peace, happiness, and contentment. Take a day where your work is done even if it isn’t and focus more on the valuable things in life than toil.
Look forward to this day, anticipate this day and realize this day once a week.
Sabbath is not a date its an atmosphere.