I don’t mind working from home, it’s living at work that wears me out! Are you just done? Over it? Needing an infusion of creativity, energy, and vision? I know of something that helps, but my answer may surprise you. This is a habit that productivity consultants and the Bible agree on.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20)
Before our mind races to an image of people huddled around their Bible by candlelight, consider what it could look like for us to take a Sabbath. In my book, Gracious Living, I describe a process: “My husband and I made small changes in habits and reaped the family benefits of this gift of the Sabbath. We purposed to make Sunday a restful day. That meant the tiny changes of finishing all the laundry by Saturday, choosing not to get online or watch television, and instead having family night where we played games, worshipped, and had devotions. Andy and I used to laugh that we couldn’t buy a nap on Sundays, but we sure tried!” I’ll add that we also skipped dinner on Sunday evenings as a way to lessen the work load while also modeling prayer and fasting to our children.
Dear Parents, if our kids are doing school online all week, they need a break from technology. How can we possibly develop a healthy family culture if we are never all together in an undistracted environment? “Those Sabbath days we not only modeled how to listen to God and enjoy His nearness, but also how to listen to each other and enjoy each other’s friendship. It trained each of us to live in a mindful, restful, reflective rhythm each week. It gave us permission to pull out of frantic busyness and breathe. Embracing the grace and rest of a weekly Sabbath filled us with the energy to give others grace throughout the week.” (From Gracious Living, p. 96) Not only is our personal life energized by this day set apart, but also our professional life. Productivity experts advise executives to take a day with no texts, emails, or work calls to evaluate the big picture, birds-eye view of life.
As working from home and living at work have blurred any sense of normalcy, setting up a boundary like a Sabbath will actually increase our creativity and zest for life. Interestingly, Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28) This boundary was designed by God FOR us. Jesus described the Sabbath as a gift to help us rest and savor life. It is not meant to be a rigid ruleset that confines our activities. Rest is a good thing. Reflection and mindful living are good things! Consider enjoying a Sabbath this month and record what you discover.
I would love to hear how you have created a pattern of rest in your life. Does anyone else follow a Sabbath? Let us hear from you! Share any habits that have worked for you and your family.
I talk about ways to walk closely with God in my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. It is available anywhere books are sold. http://www.margaretallen.org