The hardest day of my week recently has been the Sabbath.
I used to not really take one, making my day off the day to do laundry, catch up on housework or email.
But lately, I’ve felt like I need to stick to the routine of working six days then resting (completely) on one. Taking a legitimate Sabbath.
And it is hard!
I can be completely unmotivated to write, answer email, or clean my house every other day of the week – but when the Sabbath rolls around, suddenly I have three great ideas for blogs, have the sense I’m going to miss a really important email, and start noticing how dirty my floors are.
In Exodus 16, when the Israelites start getting manna, they had similar issues. God told them straight-up, “collect extra manna on the day before the Sabbath, ‘cause you shouldn’t be collecting on the Sabbath”. But for some reason, people didn’t want to do that. Maybe they didn’t really believe the Sabbath would yield no manna? Maybe they didn’t trust that the extra wouldn’t go bad over the Sabbath like it had earlier in the week? Maybe they just didn’t like the idea of resting.
So God basically locks them in their houses. He says, “Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day”. It’s like a parent calling to a disobedient child, “You are not to leave your room!”
We all profess to love the idea of a day off. So why, when we get the opportunity to have it do we suddenly feel the need to load it down with a myriad of activities we said we wanted to escape from? What is it about a day of rest that we find disquieting?