“If you don't take a Sabbath, something is wrong. You're doing too much, you're being too much in charge. You've got to quit, one day a week, and just watch what God is doing when you're not doing anything.”
–Eugene H. Peterson, American pastor and author
Last at bat, we looked at the importance of keeping a weekly Sabbath (see post here). I’m convinced that having a regular Sabbath is vital to refilling our energy reserves so that we can continue to serve God productively and fruitfully in His kingdom. In this post, I’m going to share my Sabbath plan in the hopes that it will give you some ideas as you begin to plan out your own day of rest.
I commit to it. First of all, I commit to having a weekly Sabbath. If I don’t make a commitment (and constantly remind myself of such), I’m likely to forget that I should be taking a Sabbath in the first place. Part of my commitment to having a Sabbath involves avoiding anything that constitutes as regular work. That means I don’t write articles. I don’t prepare for sermons. And I avoid attending meetings. This allows me to have the proper amount of time and space to get physical rest and spend extra time with God.
I have an extended time with God. On my Sabbath, I spend more time than usual in prayer, Scripture reading, mediation, and worship. Psalm 23 declares that the Great Shepherd “restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3, ESV). If this is true, then my soul’s restoration is heavily dependent on the time that I spend in God’s presence. And so, spending extra time with my Father in heaven becomes vital to my spiritual renewal.
I try to be creative with my extended time with God. On some Sabbaths, I simply read as much of the Bible as I can. On other occasions, I pull out my guitar and sing a few songs of worship. There seems to be no limit nor restriction on how creative you can be during your Sabbath.
I reflect. An important part of my Sabbath is deep personal reflection. I reflect on the events that occurred during the week. I reflect on specific encounters with people. I reflect on my progress to Christ-likeness. I reflect on the things that God has been teaching me lately (from sermons, Bible studies, etc.). This is a great reason to keep a spiritual journal (see post here). You’ll be able to easily recall some of the important things that occurred during the week. During my time of reflection, I summarize on one page of my journal all the things that God has been pressing upon my heart lately.
I rest and recreate. Naps aren’t just for kids. Adults love them too. Occasionally, I’ll take a nap in the afternoon of my Sabbath to renew my physical strength. I also engage in different activities to help renew my creativity. I often catch up on my reading (usually a fiction book). Sometimes, I’ll spend time with friends. And if it’s nice outside, I might go to the local park to admire God’s creation and handiwork.
Here are just a few things that I’ve been recently doing on my Sabbath. Hopefully, they’ll give you some ideas on how you can also creatively plan out your Sabbath.