Sabbath: Commandment or More of a Suggestion?

When was the last time you took a Sabbath rest? For me, it had been months.

Until yesterday.

The idea of taking a day off work has come up more and more often around me. First, from my mother who related her pastor’s latest sermon on it, then from well-known author Melanie Dobson.  When we had lunch together last week, she mentioned taking a full day off on Sundays to spend time with her family.  Though that means the family works hard on Saturday running errands and such, they get rewarded on Sunday with nothing to do but relax after church.  She doesn’t even check e-mail.

Usually when the same idea or theme keeps popping up in different arenas of my life, it means that God is trying to tell me something.  Did I need a rest?  Was I really working on the Sabbath?  After all, I love every minute of my job, so isn’t that just having fun? And could I afford to take a WHOLE day away from the publishing business, whose list of to-dos is the longest I’ve ever had in my life?

Well, the conviction started growing.  I needed to take a day off, not to avoid burnout, but to obey God, set aside one day of the week as holy, and spend time with my family.

Not My Real Inbox*

But a whole day without e-mail?  Could I really do that?  The only days I haven’t checked e-mail, since the day I first signed up for my AOL account back in 1995, were when I was on vacation away from the house and unable to. And let’s not even talk about staying off Facebook for a day …

I woke on Sunday telling myself I wouldn’t check e-mail before church.  When I came home, I told myself to wait until after lunch was ready.  Then I read the paper, took a little nap, spent time with the family, let Andrea paint my nails …  Maybe I would check e-mail after the kids came back from youth group.  Next thing I knew, all the kids were in bed and Dave and I were getting our alone time.  Suddenly, the day was over and I had never even sat down in front of my computer.

It was hard.  Surprisingly hard.  But each time I had the thought of checking on work, I refocused my thoughts on the blessings that God has given me.

Number of emails in my inbox when I went to bed on Saturday: 8
(Checking email for the first time right now)
Current number of emails: 352

Gulp. Trusting God that His promise to give me strength to face the day will carry me through!

How about you? Do you take a day of rest? Ever go a day without checking e-mail?

*Flickr, courtesy of RobertBasil

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