Posted 3 years ago

I’ve been thinking about the things we fill our lives with; what we watch on TV, the books we read, the films we see, the constant attention given to social media, the way that much of what we hear and see is encouraging us to be better, want more, and find satisfaction in the things that we buy and in entertainment that helps us forget the stresses and difficulties we might be facing. Thankfully for most of us these things are not all-consuming, but they do influence the way we think about life in general, and our own lives in particular.
The desire to want to be better; to work harder and live life to the full isn’t bad. Of course it isn’t. A dissatisfaction can be a motivating factor for our good, but it can also put us under great pressure.
There are pressures to provide material things for ourselves and our families; demands made on us by work colleagues and employers to do more hours (when we could actually do with more time with our family, or just doing what needs to be done); expectations placed upon our young people from an early age to achieve, achieve, achieve – to get results, qualifications and head off to university.
During the summer I listened to someone talking about how, as human beings, we are designed to have a day of rest each week. To “be” instead of “do”. I guess the clue is in the name – human beings! He advocated a weekly Sabbath – not on a Sunday but from Friday evening until Saturday afternoon. It was something he and his family made a priority and for which they prepared, by getting the shopping in and preparing the meals so they could enjoy the day together, having fun without the pressure of “things needing to be done”. It sounded good to me, although it might take a bit of working on to achieve! (It also made me feel rather old as I remembered back to my childhood when most shops were closed on a Sunday, and my family went out together, visited other members of our family and had Sunday roast and afternoon tea.)
So my thoughts have contemplated on the priorities of life; what makes me tick as a person; what refreshes and energises me for the life I lead; how can I get everything done that needs doing and still find time to curl up with a book, walk along the sea shore or potter around the garden? Some of this depends upon the choices I make. It is not about being selfish; it’s not about trying to find opportunity to “do” more; it’s about allowing the pace of life to slow down enough to be in touch with creation and the rhythms and seasons of life that the Creator God has given through which we thrive.
The Bible tells us that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. In other words, we need to have some periods of time when we rest from our daily work – sounds good to me. But is it easier said than done in our 24/7 world, that can demand our attention and a response, even when we might prefer otherwise?