Bible Verse: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17, ESV
Scripture Reading: Proverbs 16:1-9
Honoring the Sabbath and choosing life means we do something different on our Sabbath than what we do the other six days of our week.
My brother-in-law Dylan is a professor at the University of California at Riverside. He teaches, researches, and writes — his work involves a lot of mental effort. For him, Sabbath means fishing.
This hobby is very restorative for him. If Dylan were a fisherman, fishing probably wouldn’t be a restorative Sabbath activity. If you’re a student, reading a textbook you have to read may be violation of the Sabbath. Going to the gym to exercise may be a good way to celebrate Sabbath instead. It’s important for us to be honest with ourselves about our work.
Nancy Woodhull, the founding publisher of USA TODAY, was a busy, successful executive. “I am not the kind of person,” she once explained, “who can just sit around the pool and not do anything, so I take a dictaphone to the pool, and when I have ideas I record them. People will say to me, ‘Nancy, why don’t you relax and recharge?’ I reply, ‘I am being energized by getting these ideas down.’ Having access to a dictaphone [smartphone and laptop] allows you to be more productive. There is really no need for down time.”
Less than a decade after she described her modus operandi, she died of cancer. She was only fifty-two. There is no way, of course, to determine conclusively whether there was a direct relationship between Woodhull’s work habits and her early death, but her profile was not significantly different from many Japanese people who die from karoshi (death from overwork).
Our Sabbath rule will set us free to enjoy God and glorify him in all things. It is a day to eat different foods; take a nap; spend time with people you love; make love; enjoy nature, sports, or music; worship and celebrate God and his gift of life with others. Sabbath is about shucking have-to’s and allowing God to re-create you.