Transformative Thursdays: Taking a Sabbath

We are wired to work, think, solve problems and be creative.  But we are also wired to take a break and rest.  Our bodies are designed to heal themselves and function at their optimum capacity with the appropriate amount of rest.  This “rest” is called taking a Sabbath.  The Jewish culture is well aware of taking a Sabbath and have learned of its benefits.  The Sabbath or “Shabbat” is a day for resting from weekday concerns and focusing on higher pursuits.  It’s actually a celebration and remembrance of freedom from Egypt or slavery (bondage).  Many of us endure “bondage” or struggles throughout the week and it’s imperative we have periodic days where we release the bondage and enjoy peace.

The children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians for over 400 years.  During this time of bondage and slavery, they endured many hardships–ones we cannot even imagine.  However, after that period of slavery, they were miraculously freed and were not even weak or sick.  God had miraculously delivered His people—figuratively, He delivered all of us, once and for all.  So why are we still tired, stressed out and overwhelmed?  Why do we find ourselves burdened unnecessarily?  We have not taken full advantage of the freedom we already have.  We can begin experiencing that freedom by taking a weekly Sabbath and remembering what God has already done for us.  We can begin by letting go of past hurts and forgiving those who tried to enslave us with their words or hurtful actions.  We can begin by taking time to be still and relax without worrying about what will happen in the future.  We can count our blessings and name them one by one.  Put the cell phone down and enjoy quality moments with your spouse.  Enjoy morning coffee with a friend.  Laugh for no other reason than it sounds good to your ears and adds years to your life.  Take a stroll in the neighborhood and look at the beautiful things in nature.

Taking a Sabbath means releasing all the negative things and people in our lives and making room for all the blessings God has ready for us.  It takes so much energy to focus on the negative—energy which we can use to move forward in life.  We have to make a conscious decision and put forth effort to rest…to free ourselves and remember we are already free from bondage.  What is trying to enslave you?  What has you bound and unable to move forward?  Release that today and experience the rest God has for you.  Take a Sabbath!

~Coletta Jones Patterson

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