"God did not intend our lives to be . . . a continuous run-on sentence . . .
To add meaning to our lives, God gave us the punctuation mark of the Sabbath."
As a recipient of the Sleeths' monthly newsletter for their nonprofit organization, Blessed Earth, I was pleased to receive a complimentary copy of Matthew's new book, 24/6: A prescription for a healthier, happier life.
As with all of the Sleeths' books, I was challenged to examine the choices I make. I appreciated Matthew's perspective on the Sabbath as a former physician and workaholic. He shares fascinating stories from his emergency room days throughout the book to help illustrate his points.
Sleeth reminds us that keeping the Sabbath holy is one of God's Top Ten Rules for His people, and one many of us overlook. He reminds us that another wrong approach is to be legalistic about adhering to the Sabbath. "The intent of the commandment--rest--is what is important. Sabbath is meant to be a refuge, not a prison." I appreciated this statement, even while I kind of hoped for a do/don't do list of what is acceptable.
Because I am someone who prides myself on efficiency and productivity, I needed to hear Sleeth's message about stopping for one day a week. "Yes, work is good," Sleeth writes, "but the purpose of work is not more work. The purpose of work is to live and glorify God. One of the ways we do that best is by remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy."
"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God." Exodus 20:8-9
I'll be mulling over this for awhile. I'm not sure what practical changes to implement so that my/our Sabbath is more restful. I've been considering turning off all media on Sundays, as the Sleeths do, or even just the computer. I like their idea of sleeping in and taking a nap, but being empty nesters obviously offers more flexibility than this season of having three young kids. The Sleeths also take a long walk on Sundays, which could be another good option. I just have to think about what is restful to me, and what is possible for my current situation.
I'm so curious to hear from you. Do you--how do you--observe the Sabbath day?