I shouldn’t be blogging today. It’s Thursday, and on most Thursdays, I don’t work. It’s the one full day I try to step away from church stuff. But today is different. I had a meeting today, and so I switched my day off. And I can feel it.
I felt it last night as I finished a long day, and my body said: Hey, tomorrow is a day of rest. Yeah!!!
But then my mind immediately kicked in. No, it’s not. Our goofball guide has decided to swap off-days this week.
Still, my body rebelled. When the alarm went off this morning, my fatigued frame said, No way. I’m not getting up. And it wasn’t kidding. Man, was it hard to get moving today.
Perhaps my body was trying to tell me something? I wasn’t made for constant activity. Faithful living isn’t equated with frenzied living.
In the New Testament, Paul is clear that salvation does not come through doing the works of the Law (evidence #1: the second treatise he wrote that we have in our Bibles, his letter to the Galatians). But there is a difference between being saved by doing things, and doing things because we have been saved. If salvation is wholeness – and I believe it is; true wholeness that only comes through Christ – then it changes me, body, mind, and spirit. And while I do not do things to earn wholeness in Christ, when I am given the gift of saving wholeness, it changes what I do – and how I live.
And one of the changes is that I no longer have to try to earn my way – as a minister, as a Christian, as a parent, or as a good American citizen – by simply doing more. The idea of sabbath isn’t a matter for legalistic rule-keeping; it’s a life-giving principle. I am not in charge. My work does not define me. The kingdom of God, or the church, or my family, or my wholeness are not dependent on how hard I work, or how much I do. It is not a badge of honor to work my butt off.
My body already knows this. My mind is continuing to learn this. And my spirit is renewed by this truth. For I am not God. I am not in charge. The church is not dependent on me. And sometimes the most spiritual thing I can do is to not do. But to rest, and remember this truth: He is God.