Sabbath Days Are a Joke!

“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

The passage goes on to prescribe rest, cessation from work, and family dynamics as key components to keeping this commandment.

So why is it most youth workers start their Sunday breaking this commandment before they even get out of bed?!

What most consider a Sabbath is, for obvious reasons, a work day for every pastor on the planet.  And even when another day is identified as a potential day off, the Sabbath portion of that moment is often derailed by responsibilities that have been necessarily avoided throughout the week.  Lawns still have to get mowed.  Groceries still need to be purchased.  Houses must still be cleaned.

Over time, I’ve recognized that a full day of Sabbath simply doesn’t exist in my life.  The best way I can honor the commandment while still keeping my head above water with all the other responsibilities I shoulder is by finding Sabbath moments and fighting for them with all my might.  Here are a few I have identified in my life.  What might yours be?

Our family attends worship together.  No matter what.  Katie and the boys don’t schedule volunteer opportunities during that time.  I make every attempt to keep my ‘official’ responsibilities to a minimum during that time.  (Sometimes that means joining my family late or leaving service early, but I’m still there!)  Before our church had multiple services, it meant having someone else kick things off in the youth room while I spent a song or two in the worship service with my wife and kids.  It’s a Sabbath moment.

I guard potty time.  No lie.  It’s not typically that difficult since my family doesn’t want to participate in that activity with me, usually.  It’s a guaranteed moment of privacy that virtually insures some uninterrupted time with Jesus (because he doesn’t mind sharing that time with me!)  It’s a Sabbath moment.

I lose myself in car worship.  My typical commute to work is less than 20 minutes.  I try not to engage in calendar assessment, practice runs at phone calls, or writing virtual e-mails in my head.  I’ll have to do all that soon enough – and trying to complete it in my car is futile since I’ll have to repeat most of it ‘in real life’ when I get to the office anyway.  So I’m the guy belting it out at the red light that you and your family are probably making fun of on any given day.  It’s a Sabbath moment.

I sit someplace weird.  By that, I mean I don’t stay chained to my desk the entire week. I’ll hang out in the student center.  I’ll office from a local coffee shop for a few hours one morning.  No lie – once it was in the coat closet in the lobby of the worship center.  I sit somewhere that forces my brain and heart to disengage from ‘tasks’ for a few minutes. It’s a Sabbath moment.

There’s an attitude of Sabbath that supersedes the hands of the clock.  So whether you can find 24 hours or just 24 minutes – find them.  Sabbath matters.  It was important enough to make it to the tablets.  Make it important enough to land on your calendar somewhere.

 

For more tips on how to manage a hectic life, check out the all-new youthministry.com this week!

 

 

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Stuff I Learned When the Electricity Went Out

breaker boxCity workers have been doing work in our area the past few weeks.  They keep knocking out our electricity for periods of time during the day.  Until today, I’ve known this because of the blinking tattle-tale of the alarm clocks in the house.  But today, I was at home when everything went dark….and I learned a few things in the hour our house was silent.

1.  Never put all your underwear in the same load of laundry….because sometimes a dirty pair is better than no pair at all.

2.  Don’t count on the local coffee shop for electricity to keep your computer going because a) their electricity is probably out, as well, and b) you didn’t learn lesson number 1 so you cannot leave the house.

3.  Silence is golden.  I was able to read a magazine cover to cover while I waited for everything to reboot.

4. Even on busy days, it’s OK to take a Sabbath moment.  Yes, I’m behind.  Yes, my unrealistic list of ‘must do’s’ may not get completed today (will not get completed today).  And yes, my soul found rest….and that’s never a bad thing.

Maybe I need to find the breaker box….I could get used to an occasional silence around here.  I should probably wait for the wash cycle to complete…..

Get ‘Off the Grid’ This Summer

my-feet-on-dockIn case you missed it, youth workers, summer has begun.

And even without your Instagram proof, I can already tell what your desk, office and car floor boards look like.

Even with all your careful preparation and planning….and seemingly feeling like in May you were so ahead of the curve, you have run full-splat into June…like a mosquito on the windshield.

That’s why what I am about to say to you sounds insane.  TAKE A DAY OFF!

Yes, I know the camp forms need to be itemized and filed.  Yes, I know the cooler has mold growing inside it.  Yes, I know you have to teach the next three weeks in a row because everyone is on vacation.

TAKE A DAY OFF!

Get off the grid.  Summer’s still gonna be here tomorrow – and that whole long list of things to do will be, as well.  You’ll probably do a better job of tackling it with a little soul refreshment.

So head to the beach, pool, mountains, movies, DQ, Outback, Starbucks, Apple Store, or wherever you ‘go dark’ the best and just enjoy a day off. 

Turn off your phone and act like the battery died.  Don’t look at your computer and act like you forgot it at work.

Unplug and recharge everything — and enjoy the summer….even if for only 24 hours.