Dear Precious Reader:
Fear is such a strong enemy! So is procrastination, as well as avoidance, laziness, and excuses. Those are all the reasons for having left the blogging scene for over five months. I have been working on the story of a forty year friendship of two women’s struggles and hard choices. The friendship bore the fruit of mentoring, as a result of having been mentored early in their lives by an older sassy, saucy woman with a zeal for her Savior. Her life left an indelible mark in each of their souls.
One day, I realized I was ready to look for a publisher and lo and behold, I was advised by many that I needed to let people know I had published a book – or am about to! I needed to get out there, they said. Do you blog? they asked. Are you on social media? the editors and publishers wanted to know. Who is your audience base? All legitimate questions for which I had only a few answers.
Now that I’m determined to get back to my blog page, http://www.comeasachild.org, it seems that I’ve been pondering a few things that are worthy to share.
How do you observe the Fourth Commandment?
On the ride home from Galveston to Houston one afternoon in May, I was no longer interested in listening to talk radio; nor did I want to hear two hours of smooth jazz or oldies from the sixties, or even praise and worship. My elder son had been talking about how he was listening to podcasts on his commute home from work. You’d really find some of these pods interesting, he told me more than once. So before pulling out of the driveway, I scrolled through the religion/spirituality category of podcasts on my recently added App Podbean. “That Sounds Fun” grabbed me – the title just seemed…you know….fun! So I tuned in and have looked forward to hearing the loud, slightly gravelly voice of host, Annie F. Downs’s interview yet another total stranger to me every Monday and Thursday.
It seems that several of her guests have talked at length about mindfully practicing Sabbath. This has peeked my interest a great deal on several levels. First, I’ve been asking myself, do I intentionally keep Sabbath? Second, what do I need to do on a day of rest to scripturally observe Sabbath?
Did you know that the fourth commandment takes up four verses, whereas, the last six are one verse a piece?
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
Matthew Sleeth, author of 24/6, spoke of how he observes Sabbath to a group of young people. He said, “It would seem that since God had Moses write out so much on keeping the Sabbath, that He means it. We tend to think not murdering and not stealing or committing adultery is pretty serious and most of us keep those, but not the Sabbath. Not so much.”
Ouch. What do I do on Sunday, my Sabbath? Am I now naming Sunday as my day of rest? I remember my mother calling Sunday the Sabbath, but I inwardly disagreed. It’s Saturday for the Jewish folks. As a family, we went to church, ate lunch, either at home or out, and Daddy took a nap, while Mom read the entire Sunday Chronicle. I did homework or read. It was a day off from school and all other activities except going to church. But I don’t remember us being overly concerned about whether we were honoring God in what we did on that day. I’m thinking that we were pretty much keeping that day as a day of rest.
Several guests on “That Sounds Fun” mentioned a different day of the week as their families’ Sabbath – Friday night to Saturday night, said one preacher from Portland, OR. My Sabbath is Tuesday, Annie said.
But Sunday is mine. It is the day of worship; it’s a day of naps in the afternoon. But it’s more. The more I studied God’s view on rest and what it means, and how we twenty-first century believers can mindfully observe Sabbath, keeping it holy to the Lord, I’ve determined to rest from those things that keep me from resting and from worshiping Him.
Yesterday, Sunday, I used fewer words; I appreciated the quiet in our home before heading off to Worship. The computer had been turned off the night before; I kept it off. I used my phone for a few texts (my Sailor son’s texts were important, as was the disciples taking the heads off the wheat grains in the fields; it was necessary), and I took a nap. Rested. But all day the verse I had read in Psalm 16 that morning stayed with me, unlike many days of the week when I would read a passage and it just left my mind before the morning was up.
“I have set the Lord continually before me.” Psalm 16:8
There will come many distractions on this evolving journey of observing Sabbath, as holy to the Lord. I am aware. But I’m encouraged and strengthened to be walking this path in this way, as I want to grow closer to my Lord, and mindfully observe all the commandments, especially the longest one. We are never too old to begin anew. Please know that.
It is my point, now that I’m back in the blogging saddle, to encourage your heart, to speak Truth to your soul, and to urge you, in these last days, to mindfully choose to make those adjustments in your life so that you are walking closer to the One who loves you more.
“In all your ways, acknowledge Him; He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:6
Father, thank you for your Word that teaches me daily. Thank you for those whom you’ve allowed me to hear lately, who are speaking out about mindfully obeying the Fourth Commandment. Thank you for your kindness in leading me to walk ever closer to you even in the autumn of my years. In Your name, Amen