Making Dreams a Reality: How to Intentionally Cultivate Sabbath Rest

Photo by  photosteve101

Photo by photosteve101

The past several weeks we have been looking at the biblical idea of Sabbath and what it looks like to practice it in our lives today (You can find links to the rest of this series at the bottom of this blog). Rest does not come easily or naturally for most of us. Our jobs and responsibilities require so much of us every day that taking time to rest and reflect may sound like nothing more than a dream. Difficulty, however, does not equal impossibility. Some of the most important things in life are often the hardest to achieve and carving out consistent Sabbath rest that reflects and relies upon God while replenishing self is one of the greatest, intentional disciplines you can cultivate for a well-balanced life.

Know Yourself

As we have seen throughout this series, there are a variety of different ways that people can practice Sabbath. The first step, then, in intentionally developing Sabbath rest in your life is to know yourself. What things in life fill you up? What drains you? If you have never enjoyed spending time outdoors, then chances are taking time to think about God as creator while taking a walk in a park is probably not the best way for you to rest. The beauty of God’s creation of humanity is the creativity that he has used in making each of us unique. Therefore, take time to think through how God has made you to best rest in him.

Make A Plan

With this knowledge in hand, the second step to cultivating Sabbath rest is to actually plan for it. Sadly, the Church today is filled with ex-pastors, suffering from burn out, who knew they needed to rest but never planned for it and so they never did. Good intentions simply are not enough. Knowing how you rest best, when will you do it? Understandably, this task can often seem the most daunting. A great tool to help you get started can be answering the following questions:

-How will you Sabbath each day?
-How will you Sabbath each week?
-How will you Sabbath each month?
-How will you Sabbath each year?

Naturally, your daily Sabbath will not be as intensive as your yearly Sabbath. The principle, however, is to holistically incorporate rest throughout your life. As you answer each of these questions, the next step is to actually put them on your calendar. Set reminders. Share the calendar with your family. Do what you need to in order to prioritize and organize rest into your normal routine.

Check Your Heart

Intentionality, however, is not just necessary for planning your Sabbath; it’s just as vital during your Sabbath. Too often, I’ve sat down for my scheduled time of rest and realized only afterward that I had taken a break from God just as much as I had taken a break from everything else. At its core, the Sabbath is ultimately not about us. As great as it is to pause from the busyness of life, the greatest element of Sabbath rest is reflection and enjoyment of our creator God. Intentional and mindful rest reminds us of our dependency on God and his faithfulness to us, thereby glorifying the Father.