Lots of things in the Bible challenge me about the way I live. Even outside of The Modern Monk Project – simply as a Christian – there should be a daily reflection on the scriptures in which I take a deep and sincere look at my life in relation to what I have read. But nothing – NOTHING – challenges me more at the moment than the notion of Sabbath.
Take a look at this video in which committed Christian and Columbia Pictures VP, DeVon Franklin, talks to Oprah Winfrey about his commitment to Sabbath as a Christian. Put aside for a moment any differences you might have about the day (Franklin is a Seventh-Day Adventist) and listen to how his commitment to his walk with Jesus takes priority in his life.
There are probably 101 or more reasonable reasons NOT to keep a Sabbath in the way Franklin describes. But I argue that not a single one of them will be a good one.
Sabbath is not just about rest; it is also about restoration. It is about giving control of our life back to God. On one day in a week, can we put aside our need to create – wealth, growth, ideas, etc – and just be, giving control of the creating back to God for just one day?
If we can’t there is something wrong.
Our modern world doesn’t want us to stop. And, we might argue, if we do and the world keeps going, we’ll get behind, right? In Toowoomba, Qld, the airport shuttle service shuts down from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. On arguably the busiest time in a week (business people returning from weeks away in their jobs on a Friday night) this company run by committed Christians shuts to observe Sabbath. They don’t even get other staff to keep it going – everyone gets the day off.
But their business doesn’t falter and runs strong. That said, even if it didn’t, I suspect these people would not care! Their commitment to God and a day committed to Him is more important and they have chosen, even in the face of economic irrationality, to keep the Sabbath.
And before you try and argue on “law” taking control of these people’s lives, dare I encourage you to seriously consider the root of that argument – whether it’s really about your resistance to Sabbath.
That’s where Franklin’s last two thoughts in that video are mighty powerful, especially the second one. Here they are again:
1. If I embrace who I am, it will open doors, not shut them.
2. If your faith won’t fit in the door that opens, then I argue do not walk through that door. The door that God opens for you will fit your faith.
Go back and study the Sabbath laws and why God gave them to us. And then think carefully about your life. Does your faith fit in the lifestyle you lead? Perhaps rather than dropping bits of my faith that don’t fit my lifestyle, I should be dropping bits of my lifestyle that don’t fit my faith.
What are your arguments (generally or to yourself) about Sabbath keeping?
Cheers and Peace,
Br Mark G
~ aka The Modern Monk