I’m currently reading a book called ‘Introverts in the Church,’ by Adam McHugh (I recommend reading it no matter who you are, because there is tons for all of us to learn in it about each other and the way we were made to function). In it, the author talks about a rhythm of engaging the world in a reflection-action-reflection pattern, echoing God’s creative work in Genesis 1. Throughout the chapter, God creates, and then praises and reflects on what he has done. He not only acts, but also pauses.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good.
10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
These days “are not complete until God has looked on his work and assessed it as “good,”‘ McHugh states. God’s reflections separate his actions from one another. And at the end of his six days of creation, God’s looks back on it all and says that it is “very good.”
And this is where the Sabbath comes in. God sets the entire seventh day aside as a day of restful reflection on his completed work, a holy day: “2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation,” (Genesis 2).
McHugh states: “The Sabbath is not an afterthought, a day tacked on at the end, a mere poetic gesture. The Sabbath is the consummation of his creation week, the celebration that the world had been created by God and for God, and that order has triumphed over chaos. We reserve a day to rest and reflect on that reality and to free others to do the same,” (78).
I encourage you to take this Sabbath rest over your break. We have a tendency to let all of our actions and days flow into each other, to jumble up in a mesh that can control us, but the discipline of rest allows us to reflect on all that God is gloriously doing in our lives. Without taking this time, we can easily miss the way he is crafting and weaving people, things, and events throughout our days to work for our good and to extend his purpose and will in our lives. And if we miss that, we miss out on the broader patterns of the Spirit’s work.
“Sabbath rest teaches us not to capitulate to the restless activity of our culture. Sabbath gives us permission to do what our hearts cry out for: to restfully reflect, contemplate, observe, retreat into, and marvel at God’s creation,” (78).
Take time to reflect with God on his movements in your life. Now is the perfect time. Sit in front of a fire with a warm drink, watch the snow fall, and get out your journal. Tomorrow I’ll post some reflective questions that may be good to start on.