So, because I have a new 7 week old baby in my life, and because I am new on the job at First Pres as it's new Senior Pastor, I have been sort of "scrambling" over the past month or so to figure out how to juggle it all (I hasten to add that it's been a fun juggle!). My regular day off is Friday, but because I have had several weekend work related tasks on Friday and Saturday, this past week I took Monday off instead. Again, I figured that it would be easy to change one day for another, to trade out one slot with another slot, to switch days off, move them around, like cards on a poker table. What I found, of course, was exactly the opposite. I found that that since I usually take days off on Friday, my system, by body was used to Friday as a day off, and since I usually work on Monday, my system is used to Monday to work. So, even though I working on Friday, my system was really resting, and even though I was resting on Monday, my system was actually working. The rhythm of my life had superimposed itself on the attempt to find rest in my life. I discovered the need for
For the past five years, our country has been dealing with a financial crisis like no other it has experienced since the Great Depression. The Harvard economist, Nial Fergason, has called it the "Great Recession." One of the things that has been so hard for American economists, strike that - world economists, in dealing with this crisis has been the unpredictability of it all. No one guessed this would happen. Economists have called it, "A rogue wave" of financial trouble. "Rogue wave" is a term borrowed from oceanographic study - RV's happen in the ocean when great huge waves come along that nobody can predict or pinpoint on a weather chart or map. Nobody knows where they come from, how they originate, how they formed. The hard part about both economic rogue waves and real ones is that they are out of sink with the rhythms of natural weather phenomenon. When rhythm disappears, so does a sense of balance, equilibrium, wholeness - SHALOM, SHABBAT.
SHABBAT is a good word to use here. SHABBAT (the phonetic variant of the Hebrew word for rest), was something that we learn about for the first time in the book of Genesis. SHABBAT is something that God takes for himself after creating the world for six whole days: "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast away. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested (SHABBATED) from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested (SHABBATED) from all the work of creating that he had done," (Gen. 2:2-3). There are several fascinating features to God's SHABBAT. First, notice that God's SHABBAT is totally disconnected from His need for rest. God doesn't need to rest, God is all powerful - omnipotent. However, God does need rhythm. Even God needs rhythm! Second, SHABBAT is a holy experience. The Bible calls the seventh day - holy, because God made it so. SHABBAT, rhythm then is a holy experience of our lives. Finally, there is the rhythmic nature of SHABBAT - it must occur every seventh day, on the seventh day, like clockwork for it to work. The moment that the SHABBAT is invaded, so also is the holiness of that moment.
Are you tired and depleted right now? Is the pace of your life overtaking the presence of God in your life? Are you too busy? The answer for me (to that question) is an indefatigable yes. However, what I have learned is that much more than the need for rest in my life is the need for re-established rhythm.
All for Now,