The alarm startles me from sleep. I straggle slowly down the steps toward the tea kettle as my mind attempts to convince: I’m a lawyer in the midst of a mental debate. Sparring with a laundry list of responsibilities, I wonder who will win today’s trials — Christ in me or speculation and circumstance?

And I’m not weak at the knees when it comes to a good challenge. Show me the gloves and let’s get to business.

I can approach the day as if happiness is determined by sheer strength or swiftness in checking items off a list; as if the outcome of my place in life depends upon you, the judge and jury.

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. (Psalm 73:16-17, ESV)

Their, meaning the voices inside my head. Because persuasion comes from within and truth is sometimes a meek, quiet whisper. It is only in the sanctuary that I hear truth break in, “Stop striving, Christ has already won the battle.”

Sabbath is a sanctuary in your living room; an arm chair altar affording refuge. A time set apart to flee from the persecution you inflict upon yourself.

God is pleading your case and declaring immunity.  Abundant life is not a debate and your worth isn’t defined by winning. The settlement from today’s case in point is Christ’s blood splattered over your paperwork.

Asylum from work as your identity, that’s the clarity we gain in the quiet sanctuary. In your kitchen, on the porch, as you lean over the flower garden. As you sip tea from your cupped hands and watch rain drip off the window sill.

Now get dressed and remember you are descended from royalty. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath.

But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. Psalm 73:28

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