We live in an interesting time in history. There are more scientific and technological advances than we can keep up with. We have more modern conveniences to free us for more leisure, but we are busier and more stressed than ever. There is more to know, more to do, more to have but seemingly less time to enjoy life as we envision it.
In his book The Sabbath Jewish scholar Abraham Heschel writes, “Technical civilization is man’s conquest of space…Yet to have more does not mean to be more…time is the heart of existence… And there is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, become our sole concern.”
I have personally experienced and witnessed in others life going wrong. How do we get away from the constant anxiety of more to do than we have time to do, the exhaustion that results from our endless busyness, and the lack of joy that results from trying to manage all the details of our lives and maintain some sense of control? I think God had a brilliant idea that too many of us are ignoring.
In Genesis 1 we read that in six days, “the heaven and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had made.” Don Postema writes in his book Catch Your Breath, “God took a break, like an artist stepping back from her easel and admiring her painting. God took a breather, like a weary factory laborer stepping out for some fresh air, and we are invited to do the same.”
During this Lenten season I invite you to set apart one day a week to stop your work and make time for rest and worship. Live what you believe by trusting God and his ability to care for you and the world without your help.