Trade Your Soul-Sucking Schedule for a Soul-Satisfying Sabbath

I look at the chaotic mess that is my office, roll my eyes, and shut the door. I don’t have it in me to tackle that mess today. I’ll just take my laptop downstairs and start a new mess in the library.

messy-office

As my computer boots up and shows my schedule for the day, my shoulders slump and my stomach knots.

How am I going to get all that done?

Will I ever get my head above water?

It feels like this schedule is sucking the life out of me. So many things clamor for my attention that I can barely hear God beckoning, “Be still and know that I am God.”

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Our culture tells us we must accomplish more objectives, learn more information, go more places. Things begin to slip, slide, and snowball until we are surrounded by chaos, crankiness, and chronic fatigue? Relationships fray under the stress.

God did not design us to live this soul-sucking, hamster-wheel existence. He created us to be in a soul-satisfying relationship with him.

God knows our self-centered, sinful nature focuses us more and more on that which pulls us away from our peace-providing communion with our Creator. He instructs us to observe the Sabbath so we recognize our dependence on him. (Ezekiel 20:11-17)

Sabbath was made for humanity, not humanity for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Sabbath is a time to take a deep breath, set aside the things that distract and drain us, and instead turn our attention to God. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still and know that [he is] God. (Psalm 46:1, 10)

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As we incline our attention to God and recognize him and praise him for who he is, he pours into us his soul-restoring presence.

Sabbath isn’t about hectic Sunday mornings focused on getting the kids and ourselves in our Sunday best and to church on time. It isn’t another day to check off boxes on a duty-bound to-do list. That is taking a “man was made for the Sabbath” approach. To approach Sabbath like that is to dress our everyday, soul-sucking routine in religious duds.

And it is not just taking the day off, either. I did that Saturday. I vegged in front of the TV and rebelled against doing anything productive. I was just as tired and burnt out at 8 pm as I was at 8 am.

Sabbath restores us in a way a day off can’t.

A day off is refraining from doing our everyday work and routine. It is about focusing on self.

Sabbath is primarily about being in God’s presence, communing with him, loving him and letting him love on us.

God made the Sabbath for us.

He made it for us because he knows we need it. When we accept God’s gift of the Sabbath and sink into it like a warm bath, we rest in his presence and he restores our soul.

That is why, after a Sunday of basking in his glory, I feel calm and satisfied. Hmmm…. what if I build Sabbath moments into my daily routine? I think I’ll try that this week.

Need a little help getting still? Grab this checklist!

In this little freebie, I’ve recorded some of the strategies I’ve found helpful in getting off the hamster-wheel and into a posture of stillness. I call this my “Just Be” Checklist.

Want a copy? Just click the button below and I’ll email it to you.

Get Your FREE “Just Be” Checklist

Question: In what way do you observe a Sabbath rest? How does that impact you? Do you find it difficult to regularly observe the Sabbath? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I hope you'll jump into the conversation by leaving a comment. I would love for each post to be like a dinner party conversation in which many people participate, each adding their own perspectives and ideas. Just keep in mind that we want to treat others as we would like to be treated, so please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Feel free to post viewpoints and ideas that differ from mine or others but refrain from personal attacks or offensive language. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or which demean or belittle another member of the Making It Real community.

  • Lori:)

    What a great reminder!! Amazing how something so simple can sometimes be so hard. Be still… Just those 2 words make me pause, take a deep breath and refocus my day. “Be still and know that I am God.”… my soul is refreshed…
    Thank you, Laura!

    • You bet! I’ve had an entirely different outlook today than I did last week.

  • Davi

    I am so excited to hear about the addition of Lori!! What a blessing she will be to you, Laura. I’m also thrilled you aren’t trying to manage your wonderful ministry all alone! This is just the beginning…. many blessings!

    • Thanks, Davi! Lori is wonderful and I’m so excited she is coming alongside me to help me reach more people. I’ll write an announcement post in the next day or so introducing her to the Making It Real Ministries community!

  • Jillian M.

    Great post! 🙂 This is my first comment! Yay! I try really hard to make sure that everything on the To-Do list for the week is done by Saturday night. If everything is done then I can enjoy the message and the fellowship at church Sunday morning (instead of mentally making lists and fretting and chastising myself for not getting this or that done). Also, no matter how the week has gone as far as my devotional time with God (because let’s face it, some weeks I go every day without cracking my Bible…Yikes!), I make time to get up and read my Bible and pray. I prepare my heart to hear God and to get to a place of reverence and solemnity. After church, I spend the rest of the day hanging out with my husband chatting or taking the dogs for a walk and oftentimes, I find my nose in a book that teaches me something about my faith. Ahhh, if everyday could be as sweet as the Sabbath! 🙂

    • Jillian, thanks for your comment. I love what you added to the conversation. Having the deck cleared before we head into Sunday is a great way of protecting our Sabbath time. And I can so identify with the ups and downs of devotional time. I think that is why I do better when I weave my abiding time into my daily routine rather than compartmentalizing my time into “devotional time” and “regular” time. You’ve provided some great, practical ideas for making the most of our Sabbath. Thanks! (And by the way, sorry it took me so long to respond…I was out of town for a funeral).

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