Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:1-3 TNIV).
From the very beginning of Creation, God has made it known that we are to make certain times “holy” or “set apart” to rest. The word for rest in Hebrew is “Sabbath”, here’s a great definition:
1. cease, stop, be at a standstill
2. stop working, take a holiday, keep sabbath
God has been teaching me a lot these days about what it means to “stop” or to have “margins” in my day. Some days I run from one meeting or event to the next, I sometimes do not have time to simply “be” when there is so much to “do”. I bet many of you can relate to what I am saying! I hear it from so many folks in the church and in the neighborhood: we are a busy culture filled with lots of activity.
Oftentimes I hear these words from the Psalmist and I long for “margins” or “space” to meet God on many of those “busy” days or even seasons.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:2 TNIV)
Friends, we all need margins in our lives to meet God. I know that I need my time away on Fridays (my day off) and time away on retreat periodically to “replenish” my walk with God and to grown in my own understanding of “being”. I’ll be heading back to the Abbey of Gethsemane in January for a few days to do just that, as well as taking some continuing education time for a couple of conferences in November (with a couple of days thrown in on the margins as well).
To replenish our lives, to meet God, we have a need to slow down, to rest, and to simply “be” with God. We long for God because we were created for relationship out of Relationship. Because of that longing, we need to find margins to relax and focus our hearts and mind on God. This helps us to become more aware of God’s Presence and to strengthen our relationship with God and with others.
Friends, as life gets busier and busier, may we find time to “Stop”, “Cease”, and come to a place where we can rest and meet God on a regular basis: daily, weekly, and periodically throughout the year and/or on a retreat. I’ll look forward to sharing more ways that we can all do that as a church in this coming year.