As I was running around town today thinking of my list of things to get done, I found myself longing for Sunday to hurry up and get here. Even though Sunday is not a true Sabbath for me, due to being a pastor and Sunday being a work day, there is still something significant in being able to experience rest in the afternoon. Being able to turn off my cell phone, not answer emails, and just be with Jesus. In Isaiah 58 the Lord says to His people, 13 “If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own business on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways,or pursuing your own business, or talking idly; 14 then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
I used to read this passage and then go about observing the Sabbath as another opportunity for me to show the Lord how much I loved him by not doing "worldly" things on His Holy day. But when it was all said and done, I didn't truly call it a delight, but rather a duty. It's obvious that I was not honoring the Sabbath for anything close to what the Lord intended. The fact that my Heavenly Father not only knows me well enough to know that I need a full day of rest, away from the cares of the world, but also that He loves me enough to tell me "cease" from working so I can rest, it quite amazing. I find that when I do 'Call the Sabbath a Delight' and honor the Lord by spending time with Him, that my heart longs for it more during the week. It makes me more excited on Thursday afternoon for time alone with my Savior. It makes me excited about waking up earlier to spend time in His Word.
The question I am wrestling with now is, "How do I experience more Sabbath rest during the week?" "How do I experience more true soul rest in the midst of getting things done that have to get done?"
I've noticed that normally when I desire to do some leisure activity such as watch a movie, read a book, or watch a game, there are things I try to get done first so I can sit down and relax. This approach works well sometimes in that it does allow me to enjoy a game more b/c I know I don't have any work undone that I will have to finish afterwards. However, the problem with this approach when I apply it to spending time with the Lord, is that I always have things to do and always feel rushed and hurried. Therefore, I find that my time with the Lord during the week often doesn't feel like a delight as it should. I find that my soul is thirsty and longing to be nourished but the pull of the world saying 'get back and finish your work' seems very strong indeed.