I just read a great book – 24/6 by Matthew Sleeth. A friend loaned me the book, and I really enjoyed it. As you can imagine, 24/ is about changing our lifestyle from 24/7 to 24/6 – backing off and taking a day off to focus on our faith and to really, deeply rest.
First, a bit about why I loved the book. It’s short and sweet – twelve chapters, well-written, and readable. The scripture and teaching is interwoven with the author’s clinical vignettes from his years of experience as a physician in the Emergency Department. While those anecdotes particularly appealed to me as a medical professional, I think most people with any interest in medicine will find them compelling. He uses them to prove his point: we need to have purposeful rest time in order to hear God’s voice.
I encourage you to read this book. You won’t be sorry!
After I graduated from college and entered my “Lent” of life, I worked about 48 hours a week for awhile in three different jobs to make ends meet. At that point in my life, I needed to do that, and I learned a great deal from all that trial and tribulation.
But you know what? My relationship with God was not what it could have been during that time because I was working almost every weekend. And when I did have a day off, I was rushing to clean or grocery shop or lick stamps to send wedding invitations or recover from the inevitable series of colds I picked up. That period of time was not healthy, physically or spiritually, because I was not taking a Sabbath.
Now I am not saying (and the author of the book isn’t either) that Sabbath has to be one particular day a week. In fact, he talks about how his family actually practices Sabbath on two different days – Friday nights are a family-togetherness sabbath and Sundays are a time set apart for communion with God. What’s important is that time is set aside for those purposes.
It’s important to be thoughtful in what you do with your dedicated time – it’s not for playing on the Internet, reading random articles on the Internet (that’s me all right!), working on work, or working on church. No, Sabbath is time to think, to be, to allow another level of deepness in your life.
Before my sophomore year of college, I attended a retreat called Vocational Vertigo where we learned about our personality types and read and discussed and thought about our “callings.” I remember one of the workshops concerned Sabbath, taking time off to meditate and be.
At the time, I didn’t think I really needed it. It sounded boring. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Life is too short to take a day off every week.”
Now I realize that life is too short not to rest.