Sabbath Time

Sabbath Time

When I was younger, I didn’t understand Sabbath time like I do now. My family didn’t practice it and it’s not something we talked about. As I got older, I thought that Sabbath was about “not doing work” which I found very difficult, because I’m someone that likes to keep doing something. I can’t just sit.

I was also looking for validation in work. I gravitated toward jobs that paid me less than the people I worked right next to, to bosses that treated me poorly, and to coworkers who were more like frenemies than anything else. I had a lot to learn about boundaries and love. I looked for acceptance from people and companies that would never accept me, and the more they treated me poorly the harder I tried.

Come Sunday, I’d be exhausted, but I’d rarely rest. I’d go to church, but even then, my mind was filled with work and what I could do to show my employers that I was worthy. And then the self-sabotage would happen, the negative thoughts I’d place on myself. I thought maybe, like so many other things in life, that I was just “bad” at Sabbath time.  I knew it was about “keeping it holy” as the commandment says, but what exactly did that mean? Going to church? Praying a lot that day?

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As I got older, I developed a greater understanding for what Sabbath time really meant. God worked on me, so patiently, and has continued to show me the love that I couldn’t quite accept before. I like that my relationship with Him becomes better and then, so do my relationships with everyone else. I like that as I learn to accept what His love really means, I can also learn to stop beating myself up, stop looking for acceptance in the wrong places, and stop doing the things that don’t fill my soul. I can also finally learn to accept the way God made me.

I can also finally learn to accept God (1)

I didn’t always do this. I tried so hard to be what my corporate employers wanted, like an extrovert. That seemed so important to them. To make it worse, I worked with introverts who would look down on me, so I certainly didn’t want to be like them. So even as I tried to get their approval, there was something inside of me, the pull of my soul, that just desired acceptance for the person I really was.

One of the things I hid about myself was just how sensitive I was (and am) to noise and too much talking. I need my quiet time, and I used to hide that fact at work or in social situations because people made fun of me over it. I grew up thinking I was weird because of it, so I used to pretend to be extroverted once I got into the working world, leaving my desk and telling people I was going to take a “people break” in another department (where I knew other people) but really hiding in the bathroom throughout the day so I wouldn’t have to listen to anymore chatter.

Now I see that this need for a slower pace, for a quieter environment, was my soul’s way of telling me that I needed to connect with God, and I couldn’t do it with a bunch of people trying to talk louder in my ear than God’s voice ever could.

Sabbath has become a way to center myself, to connect with Him so that I can recognize His voice. It’s about going to church, sure… and learning about his word… but it’s more than that. It’s more than just “not working.” It’s a different kind of work. When I’m writing poetry or painting I’m connecting with Him on a completely different level. That type of “work” helps me reach out to Him even more.

On Sundays, you’ll find me enjoying things at a different pace. And I enjoy creativity every day, but especially on a Sabbath day. I like doing things like my garden sculptures, gluing glass bottles and vases together. This actually brings me closer to God!

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As I stand there in my garage arranging dishes and bottles this way and that, I appreciate the colors, listen to the birds in the nearby tree chirp… I marvel at the sunlight that takes an ordinary piece of glass and makes it so beautiful, and I appreciate all that God gives me. I talk with Him, listen to Him…

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I also spend time in my studio painting. I need this so much. It helps me reach out to Him, meditate on His words in a completely different way, and appreciate the gifts He has given me. It reminds me of all the blessings I take for granted too often.
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I’m so much more centered when I’m able to create, quietly reflect, meditate on his word, listen to the birds sing or the way sunlight hits the earth… I look at the world and myself differently when I do it. I’ve learned that the Sabbath isn’t about sitting around doing nothing, but connecting with God. Spending time with Him.

 

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”

Exodus 20:8

 

 

 

 

 

Cherie Burbach About Cherie Burbach

Cherie Burbach is the founder of Putting on the New. She is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer. She's written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: Art and Faith: Mixed Media Art With a Faith-Filled Message. For more, check out her website.

Comments

  1. Beautiful thoughts, Cherie. Thank you. We all have our insecurities. I need my quiet time with the Lord, like I need water & food. I didn’t know you were so creative in other ways. Writing is all I can do.

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  2. Thanks, Janet. I think we writers value quiet time. Being creative in a bunch of different ways makes me feel more connected to God. So glad for that.

    [Reply]

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