Remember the Sabbath?

A day of Sabbath is more than just a spiritual suggestion – it’s a necessity for balance and restoration.

A reader writes:

Hi, Dan. I feel like I am on the verge of a breakdown. I want to take a short leave of absence from my job to try to get things under control. How do I handle this without my employer thinking I am cuckoo? I just need a break. I am a wife, mother, work full-time, take care of an elderly parent, you name it. ~Signed, Very Overwhelmed in Georgia

Is it “cuckoo” to want a break from the typical worklife?  In the “busyness” of modern life, I see people who have lost the rhythm between activity and rest.  “I am so busy.”  We say this as a badge of honor, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, and our ability to withstand 70 hour weeks a mark of real character.  We convince ourselves that the busier we are, the more we are accomplishing and the more important we must be.  But is this really so?  Does more activity really mean more accomplishment?  To be unavailable to friends and family, to miss the sunsets and the full moons, to blast through all our obligations without time for taking a deep breath – this has become the model of a successful life.

The Sabbath was designed as more than just a day to rush to church, cram into a restaurant, and then hurry home to get all those odd jobs completed before Monday.  Hopefully it’s a day of rest for you.  Embrace Sabbath days and times in your life.  Wisdom, peace, creativity and contentment will grow in those times.  Take a walk, give thanks for simple things, bless your children, take a bath with music and candles, turn off the telephone, pager, TV and computer – carve out those times for restoration and spiritual breathing.

University professors typically get every seventh year off – to think, write, travel and re-energize.  Pastors should get the same.  In Mosaic law, every seventh year, the land was to remain untilled to give it time to rebuild its resources. 

Maybe your job loss or business failure is really an unexpected “sabbatical.” 

And incidentally, in today’s times your company may welcome your request for a 1-2 month sabbatical.  Rather than seeing you as “cuckoo” they may embrace the reprieve in paychecks and see you as a more valued employee.

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8 Responses to “Remember the Sabbath?”

  1. Mark Weaver Says:


    GREAT post about the Sabbath and it’s importance in our lives! I think it is one of THE most important ingredients to a “full life” and is more than just a nice suggestion to do……rather, it’s essential to our heart, body and mind. It’s a paradox to our culture these days….that we would purposefully “cease and celebrate” to rest regularly and yet it propels us into a more meaningful and more significant life. It causes the velocity of our life, over time, to become more sustainable and evolves into a magnificent rhythm. Wonderful!

  2. Kurt Boyle Says:

    As Stephen Covey says in his “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, you have to ‘sharpen the saw.’

    In his book, Stephen uses an example of two men cutting down a tree. One man saws and saws, never stopping. The other man saws, then periodically stops to clean and oil his saw. The second man accomplishes more and is much more efficient and effective than the first man.

  3. Sheryl BOyd Says:

    In August 2008, I abruptly left my position as a surgery recovery room nurse, stating “I can’t take this any more!” Over the past six months I have discovered the peace and love of my Lord and Holy Spirit and could not be happier. I doubt that I will return to nursing as a profession. I had my six month emergency money saved and was able to give myself a rest. Now I feel able to support my church and family as I believe I should. I rely on God as my leader and director of my future.

    Since leaving the surgery area, I applied to a couple of research positions that fit m lifestyle. In addition, we raised money by supporting the local elementary school’s spring garage sale. I have time to help out family members and finally, we are finishing our basement that was totally ruined from the June 2008 flooding in Indiana. Perhaps, alpaca farming is in our future! I believe that this time is a gift from God and am using it as such.

    My recommendations would be to take time to visit with God, yourself and really think about your feelings and what you love.

  4. Justin Says:

    Last year, I was introduced to a book by Mark Buchanan called “The Rest of God”. A great book to guide us back to having a fulfilling Sabbath. I recommend it to anyone as it doesn’t cover how Sabbath is for Church, but rather how we can use it to renew our minds and spirits.

  5. Anne Says:


    Thanks for the reminder.

    @Kurt: Your illustration borrowed from Coveys book just made it clearer!


  6. Sabbath Says:

    Before for me Sabbath day is just a day for prayers. But after reading your article I now understand what a Sabbath day is about. From now on I will be giving more attention on Sabbath day.


  7. Folk Says:

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  8. Butrick Says:

    cool picsxx

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