Ahhhhh! Sitting on the deck, soft breeze gently blowing, sun shining and warm, birds peeping, flowers illumined with splashes of light. Coffee steaming, reading glasses clean, fresh journal and new pen. Now this is the life!
Sabbath: a word often sadly brushed aside in today’s world. But if you observe today’s world, surely the very thing we frequently avoid might be amongst that which we need the very most?
And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
(Genesis 2: 2-3, New Revised Standard Version)
A recent Sabbath morn I spent studying Genesis 1 – 2:3 with my son Greg. As usual, much like every young person I’ve ever come across, he fired up my imagination. I just had to share. It was his analogy as to why it’s important to carve out time for Sabbath, why there was deep significance in God’s command to keep it holy that had me fascinated. And not just to keep a day especially reserved on the weekend, but seizing moments during each day of the week to touch base and steal time to spend in the company of the Gardener. It was the significance of the very terms used, their definition and specific functions that struck me.
Greg is studying to be an Electrician, and for illustration for his point, he used the concept of electrical voltage in a power supply. (I suspect our Gardener happens to also be The Master Electrician!)
First, he explained, the goal of every electrician is to channel the wildly fluctuating Alternating Current (AC) in his power supply into a smooth Dependable Current (DC) using specific tools to achieve the task.
“If we look at a typical Alternating Current at any given cycle,” he explained, “you observe great positive charges at their peaks that dramatically proceed to dive to significant negatively charged depths. This is a lot like each of us, either during the course of the day, or a string of days that make up one or several weeks. We Alternate with great highs with God, then somehow we respond to triggers that bring us way down into the negative area of distraction away from Him and his Dependability, often falling into some kind of sin.”
“So how does an Electrician fix that current? Well,” he proceeded to explain, “he uses a Rectifier. This object serves as a tool to reduce the dramatic swings of the current. There are still dips, but they don’t slip below into the negatively charged area. As a Christian, a Rectifier that could help us from falling so far below into the negative in our walk could be a tool like regular morning, or evening, or daily periodic touch-bases with Jesus, or a combination of all three. It could be studying a passage from the Bible and journaling thoughts, or memorizing a particular verse of Scripture for recall later.”
“But remember, the ultimate goal of the electrician is to achieve a smooth and uninterrupted current in his power supply. We’re almost there. Next,” he continued, “we would apply a Capacitor to the circuit. This calms the current, smoothing out the dips into less theatrical rippling. For us, this kind of calming measure could be something like snatches of prayer before or after a meeting, at lunch or other time of day, breathing Jesus’ Name while we’re driving, recalling a favorite Scripture verse when we’re stressed, maybe even allowing ourselves to be blown away by something in Creation.”
“The last step in bringing the Alternating Current in line to become a Dependable Current is to apply a Regulator. This takes the rippling current and ‘straightens it out’ if you will. It applies the last calming measure to make the current flow more efficiently and the device that is being powered to run effortlessly and well. For me, my Regulator is Jesus; focusing my attention, my “current” on Him – Who He is, Who He is to me, how He knows me better and more deeply than anyone, is right there as my calming force, and how I have absolutely nothing to fear when I hand my life over to Him. He is my Source, my Regulator for living well and productively.”
“God tells us to take a Sabbath day of rest, and we need to listen. But you know,” Greg continued, “if you look at the Gospels, Jesus was often also taking mini-Sabbaths. He would rise early before any in the household got up and go and have a One-on-One with His Father (Mark 1:35). He’d take off in the dark of night (Luke 6:12). Jesus connected regularly and depended on God throughout the day, and so should we! And Jesus’ days were full! He was a popular guy – a guy people wanted to be around! He was constantly surrounded by crowds vying for his attention, grabbing at his robe, begging for His mercy and healing, and hanging onto His every word. ‘He was made man,’ so He must have gotten tired and worn out, physically and emotionally. Teaching, healing, feeding thousands, washing feet, dealing with evil spirits, calling the dead to come out – all done with such profound and authentic Love that came from His very depths! He must have needed refilling! I wonder if he wasn’t in need of a recharge after He fed the 5,000? (Matthew 14:23) And just look what happened after He did! He walked on water! (Matthew 14:25)
I think we need to have a day of Sabbath, just contentedly sitting with God, reviewing together the week that has past and the one to come and giving Him thanks and praise for moving us through the past several days and into the next. But I also think we need the mini-Sabbaths modeled by Jesus – in the quiet of the early morning before the noise starts, stealing time away during the busyness of the day for a quick “Hey, Jesus?”, and at night to review the day together with Him. We are all “highly charged”, and it’s important that our “voltage” follows a good straight path to be truly productive, to use our talents and skills to their best potential. It’s hard, but we really need to keep from depleting and wasting away our “charge”, instead taking regular intervals to be strengthened and dependable to handle the wild ups and downs with a calm head and passionate heart.”
Wow! Thanks Greg! AMEN!
And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place,
and there he prayed.
(Mark 1:35, Revised Standard Version)
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone.
(Matthew 14: 23, New Revised Standard Version)
Erin – and Greg!
Soil and Seed