“Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I’m really taken by the image above, especially as it relates to this verse.
The scene is urban, active, busy. It’s a bus – mass transit.
There are obstacles of darkness and rain.
And the thing that stands out the most is the reflected red of the brake lights.
It’s stopping - which seems to be in contradiction to everything else in the picture.
How many times have you heard this conversation?:
How are you doing?
It’s such a common – American thing. Busy equals good because busy equals productivity, profit, value, worth, identity.
So… why would I stop?
But the reality is, we have to stop, to cease, to apply the brakes. It’s built into the universe, into creation itself: plants go dormant, animals hibernate, the earth has seasons, heck, our bodies sleep every night!
The ancient word for that in Hebrew is Shabbat (Sabbath) which basically means “quit, cease, apply the brakes”.
Interestingly, Sabbath is a creation/reality word, not just a religious word.
So, if it’s built into creation, why is it so hard for us?
Maybe because we idolize busy-ness – busy is the water we swim in.
Maybe that’s why “keep the Sabbath“ made it to #4 on God’s top 10 list.
Maybe He knew this would be the part of the Genesis creation that we would most likely ignore.
It’s ironic – we have to work at keeping Sabbath. And apparently, it’s not an option from God’s perspective.
Adam and Eve’s first day of existence was...sabbath. Jesus began his public ministry with a 40-day sabbatical. Even the days of creation start with the evening (rest, sleep, ceasing). Gen.1 tells us repeatedly, “there was evening and there was morning, the first day”
Let’s explore how we can get back in the flow of creation and life-as-God-meant-it - to reality.
We pray that God would remind you of the necessity we have for Sabbath rest. That you would realize that it is not primarily for you and for your benefit (although it does benefit you) but it is about God and how he is forming and re-forming you. We pray that you would be more hungry for real Sabbath rest and experience the life-giving and life re-ordering it brings. We pray that you would know the love and peace and comfort and rest that comes from your good Father.
Look for ways – even small ones – to “cease striving and know…“
(Turn your radio off in your car and enjoy the silence, Silence your phone for an hour every day.)
Ask God to help this become more real and alive in you.