Planning to Rest
by Glynnis Whitwer
(This article is an excerpt from the Sept – Oct 2011 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)
“He said to them, ‘This is what the LORD commanded: “Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning,’” (Exodus 16:23 – NIV).
Preparing to go on vacation takes a lot of work. By the time I finish all the laundry, clean the house and get completely caught up at work before I can enjoy a break, I’m exhausted. This year, my family vacation came two days after a huge deadline at work. By the time I locked the front door and turned towards the car, mental and physical fatigue overwhelmed me. Once we arrived at our destination, I could have cried with relief. The months of planning and weeks of hectic last-minute preparation were worth it. After a few days of complete rest, I felt recharged and ready to go. Although this pattern of planning before rest is common to holidays and vacations, it wasn’t until recently I applied it to honoring the Sabbath. Every week I’m faced with the opportunity to rest.
Actually it’s more than an opportunity— it’s a commandment from the Lord. But instead of planning for it to happen, I usually slip into a day of work. For some reason, I expect a day of rest to happen with no effort. But it doesn’t. The truth is I need to rethink how I approach God’s commandment to rest. It requires intention for it to happen, or I’ll just use it as a catch-up day. For years God has been gently convicting me of dishonoring His day. Although I know it’s one of the Ten Commandments, I’ve prioritized work over obedience too many times. I’ve even tried to redefine work and call it rest, as if that could fool God. The truth is, I’ve created a seven-day workweek, and neglected to plan for rest. It’s easy to find excuses not to rest:…”
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