"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."—Exodus 20:8
I'll be honest, until a couple of months ago, the whole "Sabbath day" commandment isn't one I'd exactly given a lot of thought to.
I guess I always figured that as long as I wasn't taking God's name in vain, coveting my neighbor's stuff, stealing, lying, murdering or worshipping any other gods, well, I was doing pretty well.
I was wrong.
My a-ha moment, or at least the moment when I started giving the matter some serious thought, was when I was reading A.J. Jacob's The Year of Living Biblically. See, Mr. Jacobs doesn't necessarily consider himself a believer, but in the spirit of his wacky social experiments, he decided to follow the Bible's tenants word for word (yes, even the crazy ones from the Old Testament) and see if/how it would change his life.
While he didn't convert to Christianity after the project was through, he said that observing the Sabbath is still something he does today. In fact, other than learning to express gratitude, it's probably the greatest takeaway he had for the experience. So that, of course, got me thinking about my own Sabbath practices, which usually involved going to church, watching a little football and, well, working like every other day of the week.
Now granted, I love to write, and sometimes when you're in the midst of a book deadline, you really need all the time you can get. So Sunday afternoon seemed like the perfect solution by offering me a few additional hours.
But as time wore on, burnout (with writing and my life in general) really started settling in, and I was beginning to resent my Sundays as much as the typical Monday morning. That, of course, made me wonder if there was a better way to be living. What if I trusted God enough to help me get everything done in six days rather than seven and actually took a day of (gasp!) rest?
So that's what I've been doing ever since...I've stepped away from the computer and actually started enjoying my Sunday (morning, afternoon and evening) work-free—as difficult as that is for me. And I can't even begin to tell you how that's re-energized my life, not to mention my writing. Once Monday morning rolls around, I feel so much more refreshed and ready to go—all because I didn't spend my entire weekend in front of the computer.
I guess God knew what He was talking about when He commanded that, huh? Now I know...