Let’s face it. We are addicted to our technology.
And it doesn’t stop there. Not only are we spending copious amounts of time on social media and our phones, but our schedules are also overloaded. From our regular work hours to going to the gym a few times a week to carting the kids to five different sports practices, we are not only addicted to technology but also to doing things. It seems like we can’t say no for the life of us and that we are truly more hurried than ever before. It is precisely for this reason that we need to cultivate rhythms of rest.
The solution to our hurried and overburdened lifestyles is found in the Sabbath. While the mantra of our world today is to do more and be more, this couldn’t be farther from how God designed us. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 10 of my book Thriving by Following explaining Sabbath more in-depth:
“In Hebrew, the word Sabbath means ‘intermission’ or ‘to cease.’  It is not referring to a ‘day off,’ which to us usually means a day for accomplishing the ‘extra things’ we couldn’t get to during the week. No, Sabbath literally means to stop what we are doing and rest. It was instituted by God in the Ten Commandments, but it goes back much further to the Creation narrative. Six days God worked, and then, on the seventh day, He rested. Interestingly enough, the Sabbath — the seventh day — is the first thing described as ‘holy’ in Scripture.
We don’t Sabbath because we ‘have to.’ We Sabbath because God Sabbaths. God is modeling for us a natural rhythm, and since we are created in His image and likeness, this rhythm is naturally ingrained in us too. For six days we work diligently to do all that we can to serve Him and others and create beautiful things in this world. But on the seventh day, we set aside a whole day to rest. To ‘Sabbath’ is to, very simply, set aside time specifically as holy and for God. We press pause on most parts of our life, reconnect with God, and embrace His image in us. To reject this is to go against our natural wiring, which explains why those who only work and never rest get burnt-out all the time.
We were not made to be machines.”
Sabbath, along with resting in general, is a reminder that there’s more to life than work. Yes, work is an integral part of life, and without it, we tend to lose our sense of purpose. But is not the be-all and end-all. Our existence is not merely to work endlessly with no end, and similarly, if we only work to “someday” achieve rest, we will always end up coming short.
Instead, we start from a place of rest — resting in the finished work of the cross. We work and live from this place, knowing that our value and worth does not come from our ability to produce but from the rest Jesus has granted us. There is nothing left for us to prove because Christ already proved our value and worth on the cross.
Sabbath is a reminder that we are no longer slaves, but free.
As you might have guessed already, there are many differing views on what Sabbath and resting look like. I happen to prefer a twenty-four-hour view of Sabbath, but not everyone in Christianity “prescribes” to this method. For some people, it looks like a half-day off. For others, it just means “Sabbathing” throughout the week in a symbiotic relationship with work (this is what I would view as general godly resting throughout the week).
At the very least, to Sabbath (and rest) means setting aside time specifically consecrated to God. In whatever you do, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and let Him lead you in cultivating these rhythms. Follow His grace, not your own strength and reasoning, and you will find yourself on a path to living from the place of deep rest the Lord created us for.
Here are some tips from my book that can get you started in cultivating rhythms of rest:
Take a moment to establish and write out what your rhythms of Sabbath and resting will look like for the next three weeks (after which you can revisit and change). Pen and paper are best for this exercise. Keep in mind daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual rhythms of Sabbath and resting as well. We want to develop a holistic approach to resting. Also, be sure to tell a close friend or family who can keep you accountable.
Some things to keep in mind:
- How long will my Sabbath be and on what day(s)?
- Will my Sabbath include a “digital Sabbath” (a Sabbath from technology)?
- What types of activities will I do on Sabbath? (Basic rule of thumb: If it’s rest and worship, it’s good for Sabbath.)
- How will I rest throughout the week, apart from a day or time specifically set aside as consecrated to God?
Example rhythms for resting and Sabbath:
- Resting, Daily: Once a day, I am going to set aside fifteen to thirty minutes to read on my front porch.
- Sabbath, Weekly: Every Saturday will be my weekly Sabbath.
- Resting, Monthly: On the last Friday of each month, I’m going to have a game night with some of my friends.
- Sabbath, Yearly: At the end of each year, I’m going to take a few days to stay in or travel somewhere so that I can take a Sabbath vacation break and reflect on the past year with God while also praying into the next.
In this article series, I share excerpts and stories from my book, Thriving by Following. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did enjoy it and want to stay up to date, you can reach me here via email, or connect with me on Instagram. You can also find my book on Amazon as both an e-book and paperback.
Chapter Excerpt Reference:
 Blue Letter Bible, s.v. “shabath (v.).” accessed September 12, 2020.