Don’t give me a Zen moment unless I ask for it. If I pay for a massage or take a few minutes of a breather, I want all the cool vibes of peace and restoration that I can get. But when I am in the middle of a football Saturday, game scores are close, and my TV streaming service pops in a 1 minute “Enjoy the Zen” with a nature scene that I probably love, I don’t actually want it there! Give me the stress of the game, or the show, or the noise I had going before you interrupted with some restful solitude!
I became aware of my “extra” attitude about the Zen interruption when it repeated 3 times in a row. I think it was an accident on their part, but I found myself angstily saying to the TV screen, “Enough already!” My deeper conviction came when I realized that this is the way I treat the thought of sabbath time – as a troublesome interruption that I cannot afford.
Commandment number 4: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) Sabbath – a break from the normal demanding toil of life that yields our livelihood. Time that the Lord commands me to take. Time for me to connect with Him. Time for me to remember who it is exactly, that runs this ole universe. And it ain’t me! (Thank heaven!)
When we sabbath, we sit apart from the stress of what we are trying to juggle in our human hands and remind ourselves that God’s got it and that we trust Him! We trust Him to handle what we feel our spinning and toiling can only hope to accomplish.
“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly,
then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13-14
Sabbath is a tithing of our time. What other gods command rest? Most of the things we give our lives to demand more…more pursuit, more effort, more engagement, more striving.
Our God provides for what He requires. When we trust and honor Him by obeying and spending intentional time with Him, He will respond with “exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can ask for or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Sabbath is a challenge to trust God which I struggle with over and over. I tend to slide it under the rug because so few people take it to heart that not many can make me feel guilty for my not adhering to it. But I shouldn’t feel guilty, it is totally my loss! What a beautiful thing God offers in rest! Jesus took it. And I don’t think I will weigh my to-do list against Jesus’s!
Next time I see the “Enjoy the zen” prompt, I will ask myself, am I taking sabbath time to remember who’s sovereign over me and this crazy ole world?
*Picture is a female Crimson Sunbird bathing in a banana flower. From @birds_perfection on Instagram. Go visit for more awe of God’s creation and more zen!