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This Day’s for You

This Day’s for You

By Gabe Gary

Recently my wife and I have been discussing the best way for us to take a Sabbath (A day or time of rest). A few months ago, while working I felt a nudge from God that He was going to give us a Sabbath. I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like or how it would be possible, but I also didn’t argue with Him about it because we needed it. My wife quickly agreed and even gave me a “I told you so.”

Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV) says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” This verse really spoke to me and has me asking, “What is the good path? And how can I walk in it, so I can find rest?” The answer is: take a Sabbath! I picked up my Bible and a book from A.J. Swoboda, “Subversive Sabbath,” and began to read. 

The Sabbath means nothing more than to cease, rest, or desist. After six days of creating and establishing the earth, God declared the seventh day to be a day of rest. He wasn’t exhausted or sleepy, He just declared a day where all could rest and enjoy what He had created. The Bible says God created mankind on the sixth day. So that means that their first full day together was the seventh day, a day of rest. He didn’t want our first impression of Him to be of a tyrant or task master but rather to know all was good, complete and secure. He wanted us to approach our work from a position of wholeness and wellbeing, rested in all that He has provided for us.

We are gifted 52 days a year or one guilt-free day a week to do nothing. Winnie the Pooh says it best: “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, or just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear and not bothering.” Resting without feeling guilty is sometimes very difficult for me. Surveys reveal that 37% of Americans take fewer than seven days of vacation and only 14% take longer than two weeks. And 20% who do, stay in touch with their jobs via electronic devices. So when we do vacation we do it poorly.

Jesus said, (Mark 2:27 NIV) “The Sabbath was made for man.” It’s a gift to us from God! Here are 5 rest tips to consider: 1. Desist daily: play your guitar, journal, have dinner around the table with no distractions. 2. Unplug weekly: no emails, social media. Set up boundaries where you and your family are off limits for a day. And don’t feel guilty about it! 3. Abandon annually: plan a vacation, go camping, hiking or take a cruise. 4. Don’t be gripped by FOMO, Fear of Missing Out. It’s difficult for this generation to unplug. We’re afraid we will miss something. 5. True rest is found in Jesus; Matthew 11:28 (NIV) “Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Gabe Gary is pastor of The Bridge Church in Exeter. He may be reached by calling 559-592-4828.

Prays Together is a rotating column between the pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Exeter, Church of Christ of Exeter, Nazarene Church of Exeter, Church of God of Exeter, the New Life Assembly of God and Rocky Hill Community Church as well as the Lemon Cove Presbyterian Church. 

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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