Rest for The Rushed and a Book For the overwhelmed

by jarodhk

Do you ever feel like there is just too much to do and not enough time to do it? You feel rushed, pressured and stressed out.

However hard you try you never get caught up on all the things you need to do. There is always one more task, one more assignment, one more item to check off your "to do list."
The tyranny of the urgent consumes your life. You rush from one task to another. And sometimes you wonder, "Is it really worth it all?" Will what I am doing make a lasting difference? Do you ever wonder how life fits together? Do the things that are most important seem to get pushed out of your life by the things which are the most immediately demanding? Is it the small, urgent things which fill up your days?

Rest For the Rushed

A while back, I came across an interesting article from a special insert in the Los Angeles Times. Syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington wrote about "multi-tasking." That's a phrase that refers to working on several tasks at the same time. More and more we find ourselves "multi-tasking" in our everyday, personal lives. We try to do two or three things at once. We open our mail and talk to the kids at the same time. We try to carry on a conversation at supper while watching the evening news on CNN. We download our latest e-mails while talking on the phone with a friend while we are keeping track of our favorite sports teams' progress. We eat breakfast in the car on the way to work listening to the radio and try to phone our spouse.

Some people even get hooked on multi-tasking. Arianna writes, "Some of my friends feel alive only when they are living on the brink, dealing with half a dozen crises, wallowing in the drama of it all and having to drug themselves to sleep" (Olam, Winter 2000, page 9). Add to this frantic pace, the stress many people feel from their jobs and you have a heart attack in the making. In a 1985 Study by the National Center for Health Statistics, half of 40,000 workers surveyed reported "a lot" to "moderate amounts of stress in the last two weeks." A survey by the reputed firm D 'Arcy, Masters, Benton and Bowles reveals three fourths of American workers indicate their jobs cause stress. The toll of all this stress is enormous. This year over 1,200,000 people will have heart attacks or severe angina in the United States and over 450,000 will die. Heart disease is still this country's number one killer. One of the leading causes of death from coronary heart disease is emotional stress. People who are constantly in a hurry, impatient, uptight and highly competitive are likely heart attack victims. Drs. Ray H. Rosen and Meyer Friedman developed what they termed the "Type A" personality. This individual tends to be driven by ambition, obsessed with the urgency of time, always under the gun to get things done, highly competitive, never satisfied and continually under stress. Dr. Rosen and Feidman's published studies indicate that 90 percent of heart attacks for men under 60 are in the "Type A" behavior category

the sabbath
the sabbath

In a special medical report on MSNBC January 7, 2008, "researchers reported that chronic anxiety can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks at least in men," There is a correlation between the heart and the mind.' said Dr. Nieca Goldbery of the New York University school of Medicine. She then added these insightful words. "Doctors need to do more than prescribe medicine to lower cholesterol and blood pressure....they need to deal with the psychological aspect and get into their patients heads." Dr. BiengJium Shen of the University of Southern California reports in a study on aging and heart heahh that chronically anxious men are 30-40% more likely to'tone a heart attack than their easy going counterparts (MSNBC Medical News, January 7, 2008).

The sabbath
The sabbath

Find Out The Hidden Truths About The Sabbath

Escaping The Tyranny of The Urgent

Is there a way to escape the tyranny of the urgent and move the important things back to the center of our lives? Is there a way to recapture the vitally crucial things in life? How do we put up boundaries when the world keeps going faster? Do you ever feel one day flows into the next, one week flows into the next, and one year flows into the next. How do we stop the rush and find rest for our weary minds and bodies?

• I'd like to suggest that God Himself has given us a good starting point. He has shown us a meaningful boundary - it is really a place in time. It is a divine space - a timeless symbol of eternity into which He invites us to find renewed peace and rest. We discover this island of peace in the Garden of Eden at creation.

At the end of the six days of creation week, God instituted the Sabbath.   The book of Genesis describes it this way:   "Thus the heavens and the earth and all the host of them were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all His work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:1-3). God created "rest" on the seventh day. The Sabbath is a holy boundary placed in the weekly cycle. It stops the flow of endless time. It places a pause in the routine of our daily grind. It calls a halt to the rush of our daily work. The Sabbath is God's sacred escape in a frantic world. It is a day set apart from all other days of the week. It is special. It's quality time. It is a time we can reflect on life's most important relationships - our relationship with God and our relationship with our loved ones. And yes, it is a time we can say no to all other demands, all the other things which clutter up our lives.

Human Beings desperately need this sacred space - this divine boundary. We need it more than ever before. The world is busier and nosier and more intense and more demanding than any time in history. And the Sabbath can keep us from being consumed by it. Rabbi David Wolpe notes, "The modern world never whispers. Our cities are like arcades without exits. Urgent voices, flashing signs, and an endless stream of media images surround us." Our over crowded, over stressed, over saturated, over stimulated lives need a rest! We need relief from the constant bombardment of things to find joy in the timelessness of a meaningful relationship with God.

The Sabbath is unique in the whole history of religion. There are many holy things in the religions of the world. People have ascribed holiness to everything from cows to the bones of the saints. Men have worshipped idols of every conceivable kind.

And there are many holy places in the history of the world. Hindus travel thousands of miles to bath in the sacred waters of the Ganges River. Moslems make long pilgrimages to the holy city of the Mecca. Buddhists honor the site where Buddha received the so called "enlightment." Some Christians travel to Rome or Jerusalem to experience "sacred presence."

But in the Bible we find the unique idea of holiness in time. God "blessed the seventh day and sanctified" it. God created a holy setting - the Sabbath where human beings could be specially blessed.

This Sabbath rest renews our relationship with God and our families. It also restores our minds and bodies. God promises "Blessed is the one who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil" (Isaiah 56:2). God offers a special blessing to those who set aside time to worship Him. Recent scientific studies on religion and health confirm the authenticity of God's promise. The InstructionalJournal of Psychiatry in Medicine makes this fascinating observation: "The relationship between religious activities and blood pressure was examined in a six year perspective study of 4,000 older patients. Among subjects who attended religious services once a week or more, and prayed or studied the Bible once a day or more, the likelihood of diastolic hypertension was 40% lower than those who attended services and prayed less often after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking, chronic illness and body mass index" (Instructional Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, page, 189-213). In other words worship has a positive effect on health. Other studies reveal a positive worship experience reduces blood pressure, decreases the pain of arthritis, and lowers the risk of heart disease. The Sabbath is not a legalistic requirement. It is not some cumbersome burden which weighs us down. Throughout the Old and New Testaments the Sabbath is a gift from a loving creator. As we worship the Creator on the Creator's day we are revived, refreshed and revitalized

The Sabbath

The Sabbath
The Sabbath

Sabbath Blessings

The Sabbath is a day of abundant blessings. This is why the Old Testament prophets kept calling people back to God the creator, to God the lawgiver and to God the deliverer. Here is something these Old Testament prophets repeatedly emphasized; "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem;... .nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers" (Jeremiah 17:21,22).

The prophet Jeremiah speaks about a danger we all face. He discusses a problem for his time but it speaks with relevance to our time. It is not simply a problem for people who lived then, it is a twenty-first century problem. Here it is. Constant work can squeeze our spirituality. The pursuit of money can eat up all of our time. Seeking the material can crowd out the eternal. It happened in Jeremiah's day in Jerusalem and it is happening in our time in our homes, our work places, and our cities. And God is saying: "Let the Sabbath draw you back to what is really important. Don't let the pursuit of material security overwhelm the pursuit of the things that matter most.

The prophet Isaiah echoes the same theme. Israel was neglecting
the Bible Sabbath. Their association with a pagan culture led them
to disregard God's special day. In Isaiah Chapter 58 God is calling
them back to rebuild their faith. He is calling them back to spiritual
values. And this is what He says: "You shall raise up the foundations
of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairers of the
Breach, the Restorer of Streets to dwell in. If you turn your foot from
the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure (business) on my holy day and
call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord, honorable... .1 will
cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth   " (Isaiah 58:12-14).

Note that those who rebuild the faith were called "The Repairers  of the Breach." Obviously there was a breach in the protective wall that surrounded God's people. The Sabbath is a boundary - a wall of protection. It is a place of safety and security. It is part of God's circle of care around us. The Sabbath is a special way for us to experience God's loving, protecting care each week.

On Sabbath we pause to reflect on the goodness of our Creator. We spend time in his presence. We meditate on life's true meaning and focus on its real purpose. And what's more Isaiah the prophet declares that God promises that if we honor the Sabbath the Creator of the universe will cause us to "ride on the high places of the earth." There is richness in Sabbath keeping which leads God's people to prosper physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

Throughout the New Testament Jesus performed more miracles of healing on the Sabbath than on any other day. He healed a woman afflicted for 18 years on Sabbath (Luke 13:10-12). He restored sight to a blind man on Sabbath (John 9:1-12). He healed withered arms, palsied bodies, and dying children on Sabbath. One of His most spectacular miracles, the healing of the diseased body of the man at the Pool of Bethesda for 38 years, was performed on the Sabbath.

What do these Sabbath miracles tell us about Jesus and the Sabbath? They speak of a Christ who longs to give each of His children life in all of its abundance. The Creator recreates our lives each Sabbath. He restores life in all its fullness each seventh day. The one who made us desires us to be whole physically, mentally and spiritually.

For Jesus the Sabbath was a time for healing. It was time when people could find relief and rest in Him. Jesus wanted to free human beings from the oppressive burdens which crushed out their joy. His attitude toward the Sabbath can be summed up in a simple but profound statement He made in response to His critics: "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also the Lord of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27, 28).

Jesus side stepped ceremony and regulation and showed us a better way to the kingdom. But he did proclaim Himself Lord of the Sabbath. This is extremely significant. To those who think the Sabbath is part of some Old Testament ritual and is a sign of legalism remember Jesus declared Himself Lord of the Sabbath. He says, "The Sabbath was made for man." The Sabbath was meant to bless us. The Sabbath was made to benefit us. It is not just another religious obligation. It is not some burdensome requirement. The New Testament Sabbath is a place of grace and rest. It is a place where we renew our covenant, our relationship with God. It is a place we find our true center in Him.

In Hebrews Chapter 4, the Bible writer quotes from the fourth commandment, the one that commands us to keep the seventh day holy. He reminds his readers that "God rested on the seventh day from all his works" (Hebrews 4:4). Then a few verses later, he says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered his rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:9, 10).

What is this passage of scripture telling us? It declares we too can rest from our labors. We can rest from the oppressive burden of trying to get more and more. We can rest in our Creator's care. The one who made us loves us with an everlasting love. He will care for all our needs. We rest in God's completed work of creation and redemption. We did not evolve. God created us at a point in time. The Sabbath reminds us that since He made us and fashioned us individually we are special to God. He not only created us, He redeemed us. God worked out our salvation by giving up His Son on the cross. This great act of grace and acceptance is finished, completed. We don't have to earn it or try to pay God back for it through our good works. We simply accept it and rest in His love. Each week as we keep the Sabbath it is a symbol we are safe in the One who created us and in the one whom redeemed us.

The Sabbath is a divine invitation to find our true worth in the one who created us. The Sabbath is God's appeal for us to find our roots in Him. We are valuable in His sight because He created us. We are more than skin covering bones. We are not a biological accident produced by blind chance. We are children of God, brought into existence by a loving heavenly Father. Each week the Sabbath is a perpetual reminder of who we are, where we came from, and why we exist. In Sabbath worship we discover life's true purpose in praising the one who created us.

Sabbath also reminds us of the rest we have in Jesus Christ. Each Sabbath we rest from our labors in the supreme acknowledgment. that just as we had no part in creation, we have no part in earning our salvation. We rest in the grace of the Christ who died for us. Sabbath is a symbol of rest, not work. In Sabbath rest, we rejoice in the one who provides salvation for our guilt ridden souls.

Sabbath is God's rest for the rushed in a fast paced world.

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Updated: 01/21/2016, jarodhk
 
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tindo on 01/25/2016

most certainly found this interesting. I wish to receive more articles like this please

javes on 01/25/2016

great post and an eye opener on the issue of the true sabbath of the lord!

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