Bible Verse: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” Proverbs 21:31, ESV
Scripture Reading: Mark 6:30-43
As my colleague Catherine drove to work one very cold February morning, her car hit black ice on the freeway, began spinning, and crashed into a concrete pole. Just before impact, Catherine thought she might die. Her life was spared, but she sustained a serious concussion. Her doctor told her that in order for her brain to heal, she needed to experience REM sleep, the sleep associated with dreaming.
For our souls to experience genuine healing and restoration, we need this imaginative REM-rest as well.
Often, when we try really hard to relax—say, we’re lying beside a pool on vacation—after seven or eight minutes we start thinking about all the things we ought to be doing, and we begin to feel lazy and unproductive.
In order to receive Sabbath as a grace, we must first trust that our world and our lives are being carried along by our Father in heaven. This trust comes to us as we pray and worship God, acknowledging that God is God, and we are not.
As Eugene Peterson summarizes, we make the Sabbath holy when we set aside a day to pray and play. Anything that makes us come fully alive is a spiritual practice. When I am doing something physical outdoors, whether running with our dog through the wooded trails near the University of British Columbia, or kayaking or sailing on the ocean, or swimming off the beach, I feel especially alive.
Entering Sabbath rest requires effort. As C. S. Lewis observes, busyness for most of us is a form of sloth because we haven’t planned well enough in order to embrace rest. Practically, in order to enter into Sabbath, we will need to decide in advance what we will do as well as what we will not do.