By Rachel Mills of Salem, OR, USA
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. -Luke 4:1-2 NRSV
My husband and I were consistently busy. “Weekend warriors,” one good friend called us.
After having a child, we started slowing down…reluctantly at first. In the first few months after our son was born, I started reading a book about Sabbath practices. It got me thinking. We were trying to be more intentional with our lives now that we were a family. We also were experiencing a lot of frustration with not being able to do things like we used to.
We knew we were being called to live more simply and slowly and needed to put that into practice-to find new purpose. We discussed it and decided that we would observe Sunday as a day of rest, free from distractions such as scheduled activities and electronics. We believed that to embody Sabbath we needed to have a day to rest, visit, attend worship, and spend intentional time together with the goal of being more fully present.
It hasn’t always been easy, and sometimes we don’t follow the plan. Throughout the last several years though, we have both noticed how pulling ourselves away has given us the freedom to relax and rest our minds. Observing Sabbath rest has also increased our awareness of how we artificially busied ourselves in the past and how that impacted our ability to take care of ourselves and our relationships.
During our Sabbath I am continually reminded that even God rested on the seventh day. In order, I am sure, to enjoy all that was good! We, too, take that time to look for the good, the beautiful, and the meaningful in our world. It has also created in us a fuller sense of what it means to be a part of God’s kingdom and to live God’s Shalom.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.