How Keeping Sabbath is Changing My Life
I'm not your typical Sabbath-keeper. It's not that I'm unfamiliar with the concept. Raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, I walked away from the church and it's Sabbath-keeping ritual in my early 20s. This was during the time of my life when I went through a "Rumspringa" period of time, like Amish kids do.
Why did I leave all of it behind? Partly rebellion. Partly because of legalism. Partly because I was sick and tired of trying (and failing) to be "good" all the time. (More on this issue that plagues so many of us in another post.)
Fast-forward 20ish years, and you'd find me planted in church once again, this time on Sunday mornings with my own family. Sabbath-keeping was no longer on my radar.
Until that changed.
I'll tell you about the whole process someday, but for now it's important to know two things: 1) I was probably the most reluctant Sabbath-keeper in the world when I started and 2) I have grown so much in my Christian walk since making this commitment that it still blows me away.
How have things changed since I started keeping Sabbath?
Here are just a few of the ways:
- I'm calmer and less frantic--not just from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night, but throughout the week.
- My faith is stronger than it has been since a particular period in my childhood when it was at its very strongest.
- Strongholds are falling away. Things in my life that I've struggled with for decades, some since I can remember, are becoming non-issues for me.
- My family is happier. Though not everyone in my immediate family observes Sabbath, it ends up being a day that we spend more quality time together. (Quality time = less time "doing your own thing" media-wise and more time making eye contact and talking with each other.)
- Sabbath reminds me what life is really all about. I have been a Christian for most of my life...but often have felt like I'm going through the motions--trying to "do good" on my own steam. God uses a Sabbath rest to center and ground me, help me re-focus and get renewal.
This is not to say that I'm not still a very imperfect Christian (I am) or that I don't have an incredibly long and challenging walk ahead to grow my faith more and make it stronger (I do). But I no longer feel like I'm holding on to life by my fingertips. It no longer feels so frantic and overwhelming, because I know that even though this day or week is crazy-busy, I am going to be resting soon. It reminds me too, that God has got it all under control even when I don't. And there is great comfort in that.
How a Sabbath Rest Can Help Creatives
For creatives a weekly rest may be just the thing to rejuvenate your work. Even if you're not a believer, might this practice help you to find fresh starts and new beginnings? Maybe it will inject a new vision or perspective into a project you've been struggling with. Perhaps it will just give your soul a time to rest, be quiet, and enjoy itself without having to be "on task," or producing anything.
Are you willing to try a Sabbath rest experiment? Start with whatever you can handle or challenge yourself to take a full, 24-hour period. How does it feel? What did you observe? Did taking this break recharge you? Please let me know if you try this experiment in the comments below or via Twitter.