You need a break.

Cutest photos ever of #theoandbeau found at www.MommasGoneCity.com

Cutest photos ever of #theoandbeau found at www.MommasGoneCity.com

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
— Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

“In the ancient Hebrew texts Sabbath was to light candles, sing songs, pray, tell stories, worship, eat, nap, and make love.” - Wayne Mueller

Practical ways to practice Sabbath now:

Light candles in prayer

Go on walks. Experience nature

Make a good meal with others

Fast from food

Fast something different

Take 24 hours fully off

Invest in your family or roommates well (in their love language, not yours)

Pray the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office

Sleep well

Confess to a friend, mentor, and also a pastor

Make love with your spouse

Choose a common act in your day (opening doors, phone ring, washing hands, stopping at traffic lights/stop lights) and pray at those moments

Offer a blessing (put your hands on the head of someone and bless them)

Sit and listen to worship music

Thin out - Delete something from your list that is undone. Donate an unread book that is weighing on you. Remove things from your kitchen that are hiding in the back. Give away the clothes you haven’t worn in past 6 months.

Pray for God to clean your heart while you clean your house

Take extra time to bathe and deep clean yourself

Turn routine activities into prayer (Pray while you brush your teeth that your words will build up others, confess sins as you clean during shower)

Take God to your special places or places of joy

Go a day with no speaking

Go a day with no purchasing

Fast from food that requires chewing

Pray about every decision you have to make in a day

Attach “God loves you” to all your clothes for a time

Take a picture a day of something that is beautiful

Actually turn your phone off

Rest Porn

kinkade.jpg

I remember the first time I was exposed to it. I think maybe it was in a friend’s house.  I tried to look away, but my eyes were locked onto the images.  It made me feel warm inside.  It was a Thomas Kinkade painting. The picture was a rustic cabin on a lake at the base of a majestic mountain range.  I wanted to be transported there.

Pornography, of the nudity/sexual variety, erodes our ability to enjoy healthy sexuality in reality. Pornography cheapens the realness of sex because it is an airbrushed version, an unattainable facade.  In real sex, sometimes you sneeze, sometimes you fart, people have body hair.  It is not airbrushed “perfect”, but it is good.

I believe we love cabins and cozy, Pinteresty things because of our innate need of sabbath/rest. But these images can become “rest porn” if I am gaining pleasure from the idealized and manipulated version of true rest.  I idolize this “idea of rest” to an unrealistic and unachievable pedestal, thus robbing the value of true rest that is accessible to me.  It becomes rendered useless, weak, lacking, cheap, undesirable, and unfulfilling.  

cabin.jpg

Our sabbath is the same way. True rest doesn’t need to happen in places worthy of a postable photo. We must carve out time and place to defend sabbath, especially amidst our busy schedules.  We cannot fall victim to the lie that in order to find rest we must escape everyday life, or we risk not finding any sabbath at all.  

 

Scripture:

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”