Do You Need A Break?

Of course you do. We all need a break. Our lives are moving at super high speeds and we often feel helpless to stop it.

I've got great news for you! God has a solution to your problem. He has offered this solution to us since the creation of the world. It is called the Sabbath; a day of rest.

The problem for me is that for most of my life I have not really understood or incorporated a day of rest into my weekly routine. Another problem for me (especially as a pastor) is that Sunday's usually are not very restful.

So, I am on a journey to rediscover the biblical understanding and practice of the Sabbath. I am taking my family on this journey with me. We are reading this book together as a platform for learning and discussion:  Celebrating the Sabbath: Finding Rest in a Restless World by Bruce A. Ray.

Here are a few things we are already trying to incorporate into our day of rest.

We have a lot of people living in our house (11) and it really gets loud sometimes! Aside from trying to turn down the volume every day, our day of rest is a great opportunity to practice silence and quiet.

Time with God
Without a regular schedule, we have the opportunity to spend extra time with God. At the end of a Sabbath day, we ought to feel spiritually refreshed, refocused, and connected with the Lord.

A Break from Media and Entertainment
It is restful to play games and enjoy our time together. But we find it helpful to refrain from our normal consumption of media and entertainment. No movies, loud music (just worship and classical), gaming, or browsing the internet.

Physical Rest
This is a great day for sleeping in, long naps and leisurely walks.

I am looking forward to all that we will learn from this adventure. I can already see it bearing fruit in my family. I can already see how it will change much more than one day; it will change our mentality all week long. We need a break and God has given us one!


As usual, the inverted date numbers (12/21) means it's my birthday. I got up late, so I am just now (4:27pm) having my quiet time. Quiet . . . I sit now in the living room by the decorated tree, looking out the window at the snow. I have apple cake and coffee. Quiet piano Christmas music is playing. I breath a sigh of relief. The kids out sleeping or outside in the snow . . . finally. I see again why moments of personal quiet are so important. Especially quiet moments with God. How my soul longs for quietness . . . peace . . . rest. As I grow older (36 now), I see how much time I spend without awareness. I am carried along by the madness . . . OK, maybe just busyness . . . of my circumstances. Amazingly and providentially, I open up my Bible to Ecclesiastes 4:6,

“Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.”

I believe that it is possible for us to live with internal peace, even when our circumstances are crazy or oppressive. I am learning that most of my circumstances that I would consider crazy or oppressive (only because I rarely experience anything truly oppressive) are results of my own decisions, or more often, my lack of decision. We so often feel like victims when things don’t go like we want. But most often, we are not victims of unalterable circumstances, just of our own failures. What is known as the Serenity Prayer is helpful here:

“God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; The courage to change the things that I can; And the wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr

The first point here is to realize that when things are not right (in this case, a lack of peacefulness of life), then there are probably many things I can do to rectify it. I must choose a peaceful life. Prioritize, be disciplined, love, simplify.

But then there are things we cannot change. How can we still have inward peace? Because God is love. He is absolutely good and totally powerful. I can trust him. I can run to him and find protection. I can come to him and find rest for my soul.