This is day three of a new series: 31 Letters from London. In October, I’m doing something a little different and writing to you about the realities of life as an expat; finding the nearness of God through random experiences with new culture. Today, I’m sharing a previously published Sabbath Society letter for a public peek into what quietly slides into the inboxes of hundreds every week. If you have just joined this series, it’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday. Welcome!
I’m writing to you after 10 days away in France; a trip we couldn’t have made without H’s stellar navigation skills. He maps out all of our travel plans – hotels, trains, rental cars, underground routes, restaurants and all the sites. Ever since we got back, he keeps saying, “I’m not sure why I’m tired today.” Hmmm, I think I might have the answer.
Using mental energy is more draining than walking for miles around Paris.
I realize how gifted and generous H is with navigating new experiences that require a whole lot of planning. It’s how God made him and what he loves doing. As a matter of fact, the more complicated and messy the circumstance, the better he functions. I know, it’s rare and odd and also part of why God called us to London.
But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we labor with our mind. Some of us labor with a pen and computer while others work the land or labor physically like the construction workers building an extension onto our neighbor’s house. I’m not really excited about the labor that happens with a jack hammer first thing in the morning but I digress.
As a writer, I labor with my mind in order to give birth to thoughts. My husband labored with his mind while on vacation in Paris, navigating new language and cultural differences in order to provide a new experience for his family that was seamless.
We labor with our mind in order to give birth to the new things God has for us. What are we bringing into the world? What are our thoughts cultivating? How is our labor yielding fruit? These are all questions I’m asking myself lately.
How would you answer them?
The monotony of the mundane in life can dull our senses into living on auto-pilot. We become vulnerable to black holes of thought when the mind is unfocused. Thought-life can quickly deteriorate, dissolving into a directionless puddle seeping slowly into our relationships.
I noticed this happening to me on vacation.
While H was planning everything for us, I checked out and followed him instead of engaging. And when you get separated from your family in a French train station, you realize it is better to pay attention than trying to communicate in a different language.
There is a happy ending to that story but this is what I want to tell you this week.
Sabbath is laboring with your mind toward the Cross of Christ.
As we intentionally engage with Jesus in times of rest, truth becomes the answer to questions of life. And what we deliver to the world is fueled not from prideful self-satisfaction of past experience but humility inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Without Sabbath, we can lose our way quickly.
Can I encourage you not to check out on Sabbath this week? Labor with your mind, engage with Jesus. He holds your directions for purpose; the way home when you are lost.
Part of the way I labor with my mind is reading good books. Last week in France, I savored The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel (I know, can you believe I hadn’t read it yet?) and Parables of the Cross by Lillias Trotter, two books I highly recommend.
What are you reading that you love?
How do you labor with your mind?
Resting with you,
Want to make rest a routine, not just something you fill in between the cracks of your busyness? Join the Sabbath Society. Follow Sabbath-keepers in community with the hashtag #sabbathsociety on Twitter and Instagram and our Pinterest board, Surrendering to Sabbath.