In God alone my soul can find rest and peace,
in God my peace and joy.
Only in God my soul can find its rest,
find its rest and peace.
– from the Taizé Community
We have all had those days. Where all your waking hours are filled to the brim with meetings, tasks, checklists, appointments, responsibilities. From sunrise to sunset, you’re just plain busy. Then sometimes these days continue into weeks, and maybe even into months. It feels like no break is in sight.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m blessed for all the things I get to do in my time, no matter how busy I am. I get to to take long weekend trips to visit family in Minnesota. I can bring my car in for its long overdue oil change and tire alignment. I can clean my apartment when that’s long overdue. All good and important things.
But our souls cannot sustain never-ending chaos for long. They weren’t meant to; they were made to Sabbath.
Historically and practically, the Sabbath, or Shabbat, is taking a day of rest. No work, no lists, limited distractions, just rest to glorify God.
The practice of Sabbath brings me back to my three months in Israel. Shabbat begins every Friday at sunset, and does not end until Saturday at sunset. During this day of rest, it truly is a time of stillness. Most of the stores are closed. The streets are empty. People have a simple dinner at home with friends or family. It’s a time set aside not to run errands or manage your checklist. It’s a time to be doing what God so most enjoys for us: building relationships with our fellow brothers and sisters.
To participate in Sabbath feels so counter cultural these days. In our culture of production and being the best, we’re told if we’re not always doing something, we’re falling behind. We’re failing. But it can be tough to feel God in the busyness of life; we need stillness and rest too.
While you can’t use every day, or even an entire day, to Sabbath and find God’s rest and peace, you can still take small, intentional moments to refuel and reconnect with God and neighbor. Set aside phones, computers, work, have intentional conversations and spend time resting with family and friends.
As we enter into this season of Lent, consider different spiritual disciplines you may incorporate into your life to more fully experience the presence of Christ; do that which our souls were meant for.
Written by Dana Rademacher