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!