Monday, July 20, 2009


Today marks 40 years since the first human stepped on the moon. I remember watching the event unfold on television. I loved watching all the space coverage, even though I did not know how earth shaking it really was.

Looking back with the eyes of an adult through the lens of history, I can see how extraordinary this achievement really was. Kennedy announced this initiative on May 25, 1961. Less than ten years later, it was accomplished. The project brought the nation together in a way that seems impossible today. Perhaps the assassination of the president in 1963 gave Americans the will to make the moon landing possible. Certainly there were huge obstacles to overcome. And overcome them we did.

I wonder if we will ever find a similar goal, one untainted by political fighting, one on which we can truly work together. I have some suggestions for similar goals, but I doubt that we have the unity to pull it off. If any event would bring us together, one would think that the 9/11 bombings would have done so. In the short run we did come together. But now, nearly 8 years later, we are fighting petty political wars at home, rather than identifying the real enemy.

A unified people is a powerful force.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making nothing happen

OK, I am starting to get the message from God. Yesterday I read the end of 2 Chronicles, as it recounts the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The Jews were taken to exile by the Babylonians. That is, they were removed from their land. Part of the reason for this, the Bible says, is so that the land could experience all the Sabbaths years that the Jews had ignored. Every seventh year they were supposed to leave the land fallow, and live on whatever crops grew on their own. That's takes a lot more trust than any farmers today seem to have.

Anyway, God makes the point in his word that he can create Sabbath for us even if we don't choose to rest. I remember a man named Fred whom I knew about 20 years ago. He prayed that God would give him more time with his family, especially his two teenage daughters. To hear him tell the story, it sounded like he did not do anything to help that happen. Then he had an accident at work. A huge, inch-thick, piece of sheet metal fell on him at the boiler factory where he worked. It nearly cut off his leg, and it did break both of his lower leg bones. I knew him for about two years, and he had plenty of time with his family. I guess that the bones eventually healed.

So, here's my point. I want to be obedient to God concerning Sabbath. I want to rest. I want to take at least one day a week to do nothing. I want to consider work off limits. I would like to honor him with resting, even as counter-cultural as that may be. I want to rest, even if I feel guilty about it, because I need to get over it. I know that I don't deserve to rest, but then, that's the point. God gives us what we don't deserve.

So, here's my plan. I'm taking tomorrow as a Sabbath. And I've got lots of work to do today to make that happen!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I don't deserve it

I have been reflecting on the importance of Sabbath. My problem is that I want to take a break from everything when I am finished with everything. The only problem is that I'm never finished with everything. I never feel like I deserve a break.

That's true. I don't ever deserve a break. The amazing thing is that God wants to give me what I don't deserve. He loves me so much that he wants to give me a break, even when there is more work to do.

The Sabbath was made for man. It is God's gift to his people. We don't earn gifts. They are free. Just as I don't deserve a relationship with God, I don't deserve a break. But God is so good, he allows us to have one anyway. In fact, he commands us to take a break. Maybe he knew that many of us would be so hardheaded that we would not take an optional break.

Now I realize that I can be disobedient and relentlessly pursue the vision God has given me; or I can be obedient and take a break from that relentless pursuit. The work is not going anywhere. Rest is really acknowledging that God can handle the world without my effort.

Yeah, yeah. I have known all that for sometime. But now I need to get serious about letting go every week. Just for a day. It will be more than OK. It will be what God wants.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I'm taking a few days off at the beach. Sometimes I need to do some detox from adrenaline. Actually, I need to do that about once a week. Seems like God had some guidance on that. Somehow I can't quite get that commandment worked into the way I live.

I find that failure to rest makes my thinking more fuzzy. It also makes my connection with God much weaker. And I think I can get away with staying busy all the time.

How foolish. And when I do something about it?