I mentioned a few months ago that Caleb and I are starting to dig into the sabbath– the tradition, its meaning, and how it looks practically.
First we read Sabbath by Abraham Heschel, and now we are going through Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn. Sabbath gave great understanding to the meaning and significance of why God created the Sabbath. Dawn’s book has done a beautiful job at helping us carry that meaning and significance into this modern world.
We started intentionally practicing the sabbath once we landed here in Nebraska.We had the nice clean start of moving to a new place. Great time to start new things. Might as well change everything all at once.
One way of thinking of the sabbath is as a spiritual discipline, but honestly… for me, it has been more like a unwrapped gift that I discovered in the back of a closet… and it turns out it is one of the best gifts anyone could have gotten.
It may sound cheesy, the gift analogy, but it really is nothing short of that. Caleb’s schedule is rigorous. He studies all.the.time. I don’t even want to count the hours that he studies… it would be easier to count the ones that he’s not. He is working hard, and to be successful that’s what it takes. You could study every moment and still not know it all. Some weeks are less intense than others, but it’s pretty standard to get a 20 minute dinner break together and then maybe another 20 minutes cumulative throughout the night. I don’t say this to complain by any means–I am so happy and all in, but I think one of the key reasons I feel that way, besides the work of the Spirit [amen!], is because we have the sabbath.
Come Saturday dinner time until Sunday dinner time, it’s time to kick loose. Every sabbath can look a bit different, and we are still discovering and experimenting and learning what this looks like for us.
So far, sabbath for us means….
Lots of sleep. We love to sleep in, and this is our chance!
Reading… we love to read, especially in a coffee shop on a comfy couch. Often we are reading different things and interrupt each other throughout to share an interesting comment or hilarious passage. Every other day Caleb does reading for medicine. This is a day when he can read other material. A breath of fresh air.
Go outside. Being new to the area, we have explored new places to run, play frisbee, bike. Feels good to enjoy a healthy body and warm weather[still].
Create. Last weekend we got to create and build. We love doing that. I also like to get creative in doing something special for Caleb. One time, I made him sweet potato pancakes with a yummy sauce[tasted like something you would get a Snooze… my favorite!].
We also love to be with friends. Although we are in the beginning stages of making new ones, we have really enjoyed our time with some gems we have found here. And of course, a skype date with friends and family in far away places has been extra life giving in the transition.
Most of all, it has been a gift to be reminded that God is God of all. He is the maker of all things. Our story is solely about His story. And in the gift of His sabbath, He not only brings us back to that, but refreshes us too. It has been a taste of His kingdom… fullness of peace, joy, and trust.
It has been a gift that we desperately need so that we don’t feel desperate. I can truly say we are experiencing blessing of intimacy, hope, and full joy because of living into the sabbath we were given. Thank you LORD.