I Believe in the Promise of the Sabbath

Derek - Sussex, New Jersey
Entered on December 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This week was a long week. Yes, a very long week. Day by day, hour by hour I have given my time, my dedication, my feelings, my devotion, my attention—my life to everything out there. They have all demanded a sliver of me. How could I say no? They have reasons—yes, very good reasons. They tell me it is necessary—that I complete the assignment, make the meeting, rehearse the piece, listen to the friend, support the classmate, read the book, fulfill the hours. It is necessary. It is beneficial. It is right and good. The value of these things is great. Yet the cost must unfortunately be equally great. I will pay with a currency of time, effort, sleep, sanity, hair, friendship, comfort, and of course, money. I am told that I will pay.

This week I gave away a bit more than I would have liked to. By Friday I am empty and even valueless. There’s just nothing left. There is nothing left but questions. Is it really all worth it? Will I ever achieve these goals? Am I kidding myself? What is the point? These questions fill the void that once was all that I had. My desire is lost, and the inspiration has vanished. Somehow, even in a place where God is reflected on countless faces, I have chosen to evade at the light and neglect that which I know to be true.

But then comes Sunday. This day, unlike all the rest is a day on which I am commanded to place everything else on hold. I am demanded to forget it all. Forget all those deemed valuable things that I have so striven for. On Sunday I am given no choice but to stare into the light, as the things of my world “grow strangely dim.” The reminder comes like a moment of déj– vu—all is fading away. God is the sole creator and sustainer of all that is. He gives me all that I have and has made me as I am, in His image. When my frustrations, worries, and questions have all passed away like vapors, He will still be. My God is the one and only ruler whose dominion will never cease. Soon I am shrinking, becoming barely visible. In His magnificent presence, I have no place. Yet, there is nowhere to flee from it.

What would I do without this sacred time—this appointment with my Lord? When else can I find such a mighty fortress of refuge? Indeed He established this sacred day alongside the earth itself. It is His time and no other’s. Yes, the day will come when I, like a straying sheep will approach His Sunday in confusion and dismay. But this is why it was made. The Shepherd knows His sheep. He knows how “prone to wander” we are.

Thank you Lord for this gift of Sunday! Thank you for this weekly reminder of your presence. May my response be to always give you my presence.