At the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly I attended a couple of weeks ago, I heard Dr. Guy Sayles, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, NC, speak on the importance of rest and Sabbath. While I was familiar with most of the arguments and benefits of Sabbath-keeping, Dr. Sayles cited one quote from Wayne Muller’s book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, that caught my attention: “If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath.” (p. 20)
I know first-hand the truth of that statement. In a culture where our worth is mostly based on our productivity, I need to be reminded of another quote from Muller: “Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop … Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop – because our work is never completely done” (pp. 82-83).
I pray that we all will engage in the holy practice of Sabbath in these coming weeks of summer!