Situational Sabbaths

If you work, you need to know about Situational Sabbaths. They aren't the same as traditional Sabbaths. Even if you know about them already, here's a teaser and article link to offer a little reminder. I certainly need it.

I work for a nonprofit organization and have spent many years of my adult life hovering around the U.S. poverty level. Despite the apparent hardship for a family of four, we are wealthy enough that we don’t feel the financial threat of a day off each week.

The Sabbath provides a break from necessary labor and offers a weekly chance to rest, play, garden, read, visit with friends, and worship with a community of believers. More importantly, perhaps, it’s supposed to teach us that we’re not entirely self-sufficient, that God cares and is in control, and that God will provide, just as Moses and the people of Israel learned during their exodus from Egypt.

I do a lot of the resting and visiting sort of Sabbath activities, but sacrificing one day of work per week doesn’t intimidate my independence. Rather, I stand with the visitor from a developing country who remarked, “It is amazing to me how much can be accomplished in this nation without God!”

This is a problem.

Richard Foster wrote, “More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.” Keeping the Sabbath is a form of fasting, which, like all fasting, has the potential of alerting us of unhealthy degrees of autonomy. Unfortunately, when NFL games and family picnics and overall abundance distract me from felt dependence on Sunday afternoons, I need something more than just a day off.

I need to observe Situational Sabbaths...

Read the rest of this article at The High Calling website.

The High Calling is a site about work and God.


David April 26, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

I really like this idea of planned time off. And it needs to be tuning out and turning off everything.

Sam Van Eman April 26, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

David, you hosted a gathering of Sabbath posts a while back. I don't know if I ever said thanks, but I'm sure it was helpful to your readers (me being one of them).

What do you think of the Situational type?

Every Square Inch April 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM  

Sam - great article. Very insightful regarding the blessing of Sabbath cast against the backdrop of your life experience.


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