The idea of time is so inescapable but vague. Thought about constantly, but not seemingly intentionally. It's something happening all the time but realized less often. It's honestly one of the most difficult parts of life for me to conceptualize. Time is completely fair. We know exactly how many minutes are in an hour, even how many seconds. And yet the effect of it feels so personal. Sometimes I literally feel offended when it 'goes' too fast or too slow, especially when someone's time is gone and it leaves a very felt, painful absence.
There are deadlines, schedules, calendars, to-do lists, time-outs, clocks, timers, stopwatches, alarms, meeting times, moments, hours, days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes. There is so much that revolves around time. Even our internal clock revolves around it. When will our time on this earth be over? We don't know. And yet, we enter life knowing that our measurements are all we know, and how much we have left to measure, is up to Him.
And I think this is one reason why the Sabbath was introduced, the original intention for the Sabbath is for rest and worship. God knows that we need days that are spent intentionally and outside of the limitations of a clock in, clock out mentality. The word Sabbath is considered to be derived from the verb 'sabat' meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Doesn't that sound so lovely? To stop the time, to cease it, and to keep it. To keep the world around you, hold it, admire it, and look at it a little more closely with care. It was meant to be kept holy.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. Deuteronomy 5: 12-14
The word holy means to be set apart, consecrated, sacred. One day among the others to set aside for focus and worship. This sounds so nice, but what does it actually look like, practically, to observe the Sabbath day?
I think the word use of observe is critical. The Sabbath isn't necessarily about doing or accomplishing anything, it's actually about ceasing from doing, and taking that time to rather observe. To take note of the world around you, the people around you, and then to worship the King of Kings out of thankfulness and notice.
To take delight and peace in what has always been there, but now with the full opportunity to appreciate it in a whole new sense. The Sabbath is not this really nice, fluffy day made for me to relax and do nice self-care things, but rather a discipline, a day of restraint from the normal, with a mindful presence. Our hearts are intended to be reverent and worshipful on this day- a day of reflection and thankfulness for all that is.
I've decided we all need a little more of this. A little less anxiety, and a little more quiet.