Today is my day off, or what Christians call a Sabbath. It's a day where I do no work, rest, spend a lot of time with the family, and time with God. This is something God commands us to practice each week, but for most of my life it's been something I've ignored.
As I've started taking a Sabbath and incorporating it in to my life I've also realized that it is REALLY hard to do. There are constantly interruptions, work and other things trying to take my Sabbath away. The temptation is to make my Sabbath into another day of the week, using it to work. I sometimes feel guilty or overwhelmed because it seems like I must force myself to take a Sabbath and then aggressively protect it from all the things that want to interrupt it.
However, I was encouraged to see that this isn't something that just I battle with, or even those of us living in our busy culture. Keeping a Sabbath has always been something that people have had to be intentional about and guard or it would not happen. Check out what Nehemiah did to protect the Sabbath in his time:
19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Once or twice the merchants and sellers of all kinds of goods spent the night outside Jerusalem. 21 But I warned them and said, "Why do you spend the night by the wall? If you do this again, I will lay hands on you." From that time on they no longer came on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. (Nehemiah 13:19-32)
Do you take a Sabbath each week? What must you do to protect this valuable, God ordained time in your life?