Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, June 10, 2013 @ 5:00:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

The most significant changes in my life have come as a result of withdrawing from normal activity on a regular basis since the early 1990s. Sometimes I've been able to get away only once every several months, but other times I've been fortunate enough to take off once or twice per month. These times of withdrawing restore my margins like nothing else can. I also find that as I slow my pace down, I hear more clearly from God.

Greg Cootsona, a pastor at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, California, has written an excellent book called Say Yes to No. In it, he articulates seven Sabbath practices that help us understand how to build in Sabbath rest mornings, lunchtimes, and even full days:

1. "Tailor-make your Sabbath. These breaks have to be cut to fit you."
2. "Let all of you be renewed—body, mind, soul, and spirit. You can take Sabbath walks, lounge in your bed late on a Saturday morning..."
3. "Feed your soul. Our culture is not very attuned to the spiritual life."
4. "Eliminate all obligations; take off some time each day and each week. No mopping, no cooking, no paying bills, no mowing the lawn, no fixing the house, nor even thinking about work and the office."
5. "Restrict technology's reach. Turn off the cell phone. Don't check the e-mail. And, by all means, unplug the TV."
6. "Spend time with the ones you love. This means friends, family, and your spouse."
7. "Reflect and adjust. Find where there are things that break you down and where there are things that bring strength and peace. Adjust your life accordingly. My daily patter combines physical exercise, meditation and prayer,and reading."

Cootsona goes on to say: "The Sabbath is time for me, God and my family. Time for body and soul...Sabbaths are days when I don't have any commitments and everything is based on freedom. I even remove my watch so that it no longer breaks my day into disconnected units. Having practices regular Sabbaths I'll never go back (89-91).

For me, the best Sabbath rest involves quietly withdrawing to a quiet place where I can rest, reflect, walk and be alone. This time usually includes time for intimacy with God and includes times of worship, reading the Bible and reflection, as well as journaling what I believe God is saying to me. The focus for me though is intimacy, not accomplishment.

Do you want to see a radical change in your life? Start the practice of withdrawing at least one day per month to be alone and pursue God in the midst of rest. Did you set aside a Sabbath day rest after my last blog post?

Thanks for this Doug - I've been on a journey of learning to rest the last three years... I'm getting there! As someone who had a hard work ethos driven into them from a young age it's hard to stop, especially being self-employed :) I typically get a large portion a day away from everything aside from maybe friends and family. And Sunday has become a day of complete escape for me! I'm looking forward to getting to the place of trusting in God's goodness that the Israelites were supposed to have so they could take a whole year off! (Although they never did do it!) Thanks for your blogs my friend! Appreciate you! Hope you are doing well :)
Phil Drysdale @ 11:06:00 AM 6/18/2013

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