On my day off, I often encounter confrontation.
With whom? Myself.
To “sabbath,” means to cease, to stop, to rest from one’s labors.
When I stop, I am confronted with me.
When I stop…
I am confronted with my weakness. A lot of times you don’t know how tired you are until you stop. It doesn’t hurt until you stop. So when I at last stop, it is then that I often get the truest reading on my state. When I am busy, the adrenaline dupes me into thinking I have strength I don’t, longevity I don’t.
I am confronted with my sin. Seeing our own sin sometimes takes introspection. Seeing the true gravity of our sin certainly takes introspection. And when you stop, introspection abounds.
I am confronted with my sadness. When I slow down, I sometimes discover or have to admit that I am sad. In the stillness, I realize the residue of that conversation, weeks ago, still burdens my heart. It is in the quiet that I remember loss, that I think about people I love and now miss.
It is no wonder we all pack our days off with activities instead of ceasing.
And yet, so often, it is in these confrontations that God confronts me. He confronts me with kindness and mercy, with gentle words of correction and encouragement. And He gives me what I was seeking all along: rest and peace.
The rest of a sabbath is not always instantaneous, but it is a discipline that will yield its fruit in season.