By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer
“I don’t do nothing well.”
No doubt you bunched your shoulders and cringed when you read that sentence. The double negative scratches our linguistic sensibilities like fingernails on Styrofoam.
Does the sentence mean the speaker can’t do anything well? Or does the speaker fail when it comes to a simple lack of action?
I know the answer because I’m the speaker, and I’m here to tell you, I’m not very good at sitting and doing nothing.
Raise your hand if you can relate.
Keeping the sabbath separate from the work week was a challenge for me. I thought the directive was merely one of the Ten Commandments, an old Hebraic law code (that would certainly improve our way of life if it were adhered to today).
But the re-discovery of a few surprising verses has changed my perception. Exodus 16:29 was the most surprising of all.
God tells Moses that the people of Israel are to gather manna six days a week but not on the seventh. There will be plenty, the Lord promises. What’s gathered on day six will be enough to cover day seven. Everyone gets a break from gathering on that day – the Sabbath.
The New Living Translation reads, “They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you.”
I’d never looked at it that way.
God doesn’t want us working ourselves into the ground. He wants us to take a break. Rest. Recharge. Renew.
Regeneration is a law we see operating around us in nature. Trees and grasslands go dormant for a season. Many animals hibernate while others relocate.
Everything rests on a regular basis – except man in general.
But what about that “do nothing” principle?
Jesus wasn’t a do-nothing kind of guy. Religious leaders repeatedly harassed Him because He healed people on the Sabbath. Or He and his followers would peel husks from wheat and eat the grain on the Sabbath. And He had a mouthful to say about the leaders’ self-righteous criticism.
“You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water?” (Luke 13:15)
Rest means different things to different people. Some like to read. Others visit, walk, ride bikes or horses. For me, resting is doing something different than what I do every other day which is work at the job of writing.
I ’m learning, and it’s not necessarily easy, to give up that job on the Sabbath, which for me is Sunday.
Not everyone can do that. Many people are required by their employers to work on Sunday. But those people can pick another day as a day of rest, a day to let go of the stress and demands and spend time leaning into God.
I’m always amazed by the sense of refreshment I have on the day following my Sabbath. I don’t lose anything by not working one day, but I gain renewed focus and faith that the Lord is meeting my every need, even when it comes down to something as minuscule as manna – my weekly word count.
During this Lenten season approaching Easter, try a Sabbath day of weekly rest. You may be surprised by the regenerative results.
~~~The Sabbath is the Lord's gift to you. Click To Tweet Jesus wasn’t a do-nothing kind of guy. Click To Tweet
Whit took control before Baker could intervene. “My tally book says we’re near done with only a handful left to check. We can finish when Jody gets back. I figure we all need to rest tomorrow, but there’s plenty to do if you’re lookin’ to stay busy today. Fence to mend and hay… Well, the hay has to dry out before we can cut it.” ~Straight to My Heart
(c) 2018 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.