Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sabbath Musing - Satisfied Externally

We live in a world which is incredibly driven, where most of us live with a long mental or written to do list, and where however much we do there will always be more to be done. Whether that's more emails to answer, clothes to iron, jobs to apply for, reports to read, carpets to hoover, exams to revise for, books to mark or blogs to write. Even our so called leisure time can have that feel to it, with more programmes waiting to be watched on Skyplus, more Facebook statuses which need checking, we just never stop trying to achieve or do more, and never feel satisfied with what we've done.

One of the keys to Sabbath is for us to learn to be satisfied. To be able to stop, even though there is still much to be done, and be satisfied with what has already been achieved.

I realised recently that God is the master of doing this. I'd always seen the stop which God has after six days of creation, but until I heard Tim Keller point it out in a podcast I listened to recently I'd never seen the stops which happen during the first six days. How throughout the first six days of creation we read several times that "God saw that is was good". That happens seven times in all, once on the first day, twice on the third day, once on each of the fourth and fifth days and twice on the sixth day (finishing with a "very good" when God got to the end of day six).

Every time God says that it means a stop, a mini Sabbath, and an acknowledgement that although there is still much to be achieved, He is more than satisfied with what has already been done. Even before day one is complete, God stops to admire the light He has created and to declare it good. He's still got five and a half days of creation left on his "to do" list, but that doesn't stop Him stopping and being satisfied.

So here's my question. When in your day, your week, even in your year do you stop and say "there's still much to do, but I'm going to rest, to stop and say that for this day or this week enough is enough".

You might be a mum with young children. The house may still be a mess, there still may be clothes to be cleaned and packed lunches to be made, but at some point in your day you need to stop, be satisfied with all you HAVE achieved and rest.

You might be a student with exams coming up. You've revised for six days solid, but now you're going to stop, say that you're satisfied with all that you've done and take a rest.

You may be a business leader going on holiday. You've left the out of office message on your email, but are you really willing to say that enough is enough, turn off your BlackBerry and stop for the next two weeks.

Stop and be satisfied!


1 comment:

Sandra said...

This is so true Simon. Thankyou for reminding us (and me in particular) to look positively at what we've achieved. I know for me a mountain can be all too difficult to climb, but if we take each step one by one and acknowledge what we've achieved, before too long we'll be at the top and enjoying the view!!