Sabbath Simplicity

I’m realizing that I sure do go through books quickly! In just the past week, I’ve read “Forgotten God,” (by Francis Chan), “Erasing Hell” (by Francis Chan), and now I’m halfway through “Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity,” by Keri Wyatt Kent.
I really like this book! Although I think at times the author is a bit redundant, this book has so much to offer. I remember in college, everyone always debated about what to do on Sundays. I personally committed to finishing my homework on Saturdays so my Sundays could be a complete day of fun and freedom! In high school, everyone wondered whether or not we should work on Sundays.  And now, as a family, our Sundays end up being our busiest day of the week, which has made it rather chaotic instead of restful.I do think it’s important to set aside a full day every week to pass on things that resemble work! God gave us the Sabbath so we could rest from our labors, after all.
Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity has really simplified things! She suggests that since Jesus kept the Sabbath, we should too. [And, although not listed in the book, here’s Leviticus 16:14– “It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.”] But since Jesus also exercised freedom on the Sabbath (He did things like walking through fields and picking grain with His disciples, and healing a woman and telling a man to pick up his mat and walk–all of which were not acceptable Sabbath practices at the time, although we may guffaw at them now!) we also should exercise freedom on the Sabbath.
In other words, don’t feel chained to anything. But find a way to enjoy your day that has nothing to do with what you have to do. For example:

  • Whatever you do for a living, don’t do it on your Sabbath
  • If you are a professional artist/photographer, etc, don’t do your work on Sundays.
  • Don’t try to improve your skills on a Sunday
  • Do your chores in advance, leaving the Sabbath free of housework
  • If you’re a student, do your homework on another day, don’t wait until the Sabbath.
  • Prepare your dinner in advance by making extras the night before!

This leaves space to do what is enjoyable for you and what builds relationships–with others and with the Lord.
I love this! It’s so simple, (like the book title says!) but it makes me really look forward to Sundays. Oh, and she emphasizes that you can choose your Sabbath. And if you’re not ready to give an entire day of doing what seems like “nothing” then start with an hour or two!
And another idea of hers that I just love is turning off the computer at sunset the day before Sabbath. So no email checks, no quick writing updates, no Facebook, no nothing. She suggests even turning off the TV and other media, including cell phones. Doing this will help free you from distractions so you can be fully present with your family, and fully present with God!
In May of 2007, I wrote this in my journal:

It’s days like these when I don’t feel close to You that my mind begins to question You. I don’t want to do that my Father. Oh Lord. Technology brings me away from You. It does!

I’ve found that when I’ve got a computer on front of me, I’m addicted! When I’ve got music on my iPod, I listen to music without hearing God as well. It’s a distraction from Him! With as much awesomeness that technology has brought, it also has its costs. So, I think it’s worth it for me to [to the tune of Put Down the Duckie]Put down the smart phone” on the Sabbath! (Except for phone CALLS of course!)
One more thing. The author wrote about having a rhythm to everyday life instead of just on Sabbath. Apparently, the Israelites, (at some point in history) split the day into three parts: daylight for productivity, sunset & after for family/relationships, and then 8 hours for sleeping. I really like this…and my own idea here is to shut down the computer after dark and force myself to do other things I love, like reading for enjoyment, (fiction or nonfiction!), crocheting, talking, playing, praying.  This practice will have an added benefit too–going to sleep better! (See what I mean with this article)
Aaaannnd…it’s past sunset but I’m still on the computer. So much for that one!
Anyway, I recommend Rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity. (I got this copy at the library!)
Exodus 20:10-11
but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
But don’t let anyone pressure you to conform to their Sabbath expectations either–
Colossians 2:16
Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—
What do you do on Sabbath (be it Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday?)

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