Hamster Wheel Exit Strategy

Today’s Word:  STOP

Today’s Sabbath Practice:  Choosing to stop for Sabbath

Photo: Doenertier82, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=642841

There is something comforting about being overworked.  If work is the meaning of our lives, then more work equals more meaning. – Matthew Sleeth, 24/6

I asked a friend of mine if she had found a time for sabbath in her week yet.  She looked at me as if I had asked her to set all of her furniture on fire.

Life is crazy right now, she explained.  She was in the middle of a huge project at work, the kind of consuming project that you wake up in the middle of the night still thinking about.  When this season of craziness is over she would be in a much better position to think about sabbath, she assured me.

Maybe you know how she feels.  Longing for the idea of sabbath but trapped on a hamster wheel that spins out of control most days. Jumping off would be like jumping out of a speeding car – risky, scary, costly, different.

We believe the lie that we can’t stop, that it’s impossible to stop; that there’s too much momentum forcing us to stay on the wheel.  Schedules and activities.  Work deadlines.  The guilt of not being productive. The fear of missing out.  The dread of not knowing what we would do if we weren’t always… doing.

The truth is, only the hamster makes the wheel spin… and stop spinning.

Life doesn’t just happen to us.  We’re not helpless.  We make choices.

If we’re going to stop for sabbath, it’s not going to happen by chance, only by choice.

Today’s Practice:  Choosing to stop for sabbath

If you’ve PLANNED for sabbath and PREPARED for sabbath, the hard work is done!  Now, it is a no longer a logistics issue, it is an issue of will.  Ok, so maybe that’s not so easy.

The first few times of stopping for sabbath might feel a little awkward, like learning to stop while skiing.  You might cramp up doing the snow plow or ski into a trash can.  (Don’t ask me how I know that.)  But you can do this!

Here are some thoughts to keep these things in mind to help you to do what you know you want and need to do – STOP for Sabbath:

  • Don’t let stopping for sabbath be an open question.  You’ve planned it, now do it.
  • Know that the laundry or the beach is going to call to you and whisper that accomplishing one more task or enjoying something fun instead will make your life so much better.  Don’t listen!
  • Don’t fudge on the time.  If you plan to start your sabbath time at 6pm, start at 6pm.  Don’t hit the snooze button on your life.
  • Trust God for the double portion you may need to finish whatever tasks need to get done, before or after your sabbath
  • Believe in the gift of sabbath.  It’s not an interruption of your life, it is the source of life.

The rhythm of rest is important in the Christian life because our faith is a receiving faith, not an achieving faith.  –  Eric Geiger

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