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Sabbath rhythm – takes time, experimentation

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By Dave Henning / November 23, 2019

“It often takes time and experimentation to learn a life-giving Sabbath rhythm.  It doesn’t happen all of a sudden.  Small steps, taken faithfully each week, add up to a satisfying and restoring pattern of weekly rejuvenation.”- Jeff Manion

On Days 8 (“The Art of Rest”) and 9 (“Life-Giving Rhythm”) of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion talks about Sabbath rest as well as developing a Sabbath rhythm.  In addition, Sabbath rest needs to function as a day of ‘get to’ rather than ‘have to.’  Also, Sabbath rest represents a break from the grind.  As a result, the author notes, that prevents every day from felling like every other day.

When the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites, they forced God’s people to work seven days a week.  Ironically, Jeff astutely observes, we’re prone to do this very thing willingly.  Hence, we chain ourselves to our work.

Above all, Pastor Manion stresses, Sabbath rest does not serve as a reward for getting all your work done.  Rather, Sabbath is a break in the middle of your work.  However, practicing Sabbath feels strange at first.  Because when you race through life, changing speed never happens on a dime.  But, the author exhorts, keep at it.  For our Creator designed the rhythm of work punctuated by rest for your benefit.

In conclusion, Pastor Manion believes we must give up the ideal of perfection with regard to Sabbath rest.  For the rest of the world doesn’t come to a screeching halt during the time you decide to idle.  Perhaps take an autumn walk in the woods.  Consequently, practice Sabbath imperfectly.  And, give yourself grace.  Jeff adds:

“I believe that by learning to find rest one day a week, I’m guided to find rest the other six days.  Each and every day, the Lord whispers, ‘Come to me . . . you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28).  Our Sabbath day reminds us that we are more than what we achieve or produce.  And this reality needs to spill over into the other six days of the week.”

Today’s question: What life-giving Sabbath rhythm do you practice?  Please share.

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About the author

    Dave Henning


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