I made a confession to the Sabbath Society in our bi-weekly email last week and thought it might be time I come clean with you too.
I haven’t learned how to rest my mind yet.
Over the past two years, leading hundreds of people through a weekly routine of Sabbath, this is what I know about resting well.
I have mastered walking past dirty dishes and a disheveled house to lay on the couch with a good book or embark on an adventure in the neighborhood with my camera. Without guilt.
I have let go of accomplishment as definition for identity.
I have learned that preparation is the key for successful rest. I have conquered organizing my week toward Sabbath instead of away from it.
I have learned that Sabbath is not about me but abiding deeply in Jesus. I know that I hear Him with clarity on the days I rest, more than any other time in the week.
I know that Sabbath isn’t a magic formula only possible for the uber spiritual. It is a gift of God available to everyone.
I have learned all these things but I have not learned how to turn off my thoughts. I am taking notes on the practice of not thinking.
Lillias Trotter writes, “It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies.
Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning?
Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day?
Does this test not give the clue?
Then dare to have it out with God – and after all, that is the shortest way. Dare to lay bare your whole life and being before Him, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His glory. Dare to face the fact that unfocussed good and useful as it may seem, it will prove to have failed of its purpose.”
Perhaps what I am trying to achieve with the practice of not thinking is really an attempt to achieve focus.
When a hamster wheel of unproductive thoughts circle continuously, fear, worry, and doubt take me captive; stuck in the same circumstances without result.
Erwin McManus says that “imagination is the playground of God.” When the playground isn’t under spiritual supervision, all hell can break loose quickly. Wandering thoughts can be deceptive and damage the spirit when we allow the freedom.
The practice of not thinking is the discipline of resting thoughts; surrendering what can’t be controlled or figured out back under God’s authority. And the truth comes clearly into focus; Sabbath, the outcome.
Happy Sabbath Friends!
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.