God’s Rhythm for Life
There is a rhythm to the world and to our lives as seasons come and go: birth and death; day and night; joy and sorrow; planting and harvest; work and rest. We see the rhythm in the story of creation where God worked for six days, then rested on the seventh day. This rhythm is repeated in the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” followed by the injunction to work six days and rest on the seventh.
It is when the rhythm of work and rest are disturbed or not observed that physical and emotional ill health often follow. Here is a prescription for Sabbath time that will gain rest and wholeness for both body and soul.
DAILY DOSAGE: Our daily devotional time can become a time of rest and letting God into our lives. Allow yourself to turn off the world around you and truly turn to God. Relax, rest your body and mind, be attentive to God’s spirit within you. Put your worries and concerns in God’s hands. Simply be with God!
WEEKLY DOSAGE: God has given us a gift – a rhythm of work for six days and rest on the seventh. Perhaps you can’t rest on Sunday, but any day can become your Sabbath day. Hopefully part of the day can be spent in corporate worship, but if such is not available use your day as a time for enjoying the sacredness of life through walking, talking, sharing of joys and concerns, spending time with family and experiencing God through people, nature, and rest.
ANNUAL DOSAGE: Set aside at least two days every year for a time of renewal. This can be done individually or corporately and allows one to catch one’s breath; recover from weariness; contemplate life and God’s call; and be grateful for and open to God’s grace. Renewal or retreat time is set apart for being the child of God that you are. It should not be filled with spiritual busyness, but should be a time simply to “wait on the Lord and renew your strength.”
OCCASIONAL DOSAGE: Every so often it is good for a group to set aside a period of time for rebirth, It is a time that can allow a group to revisit God’s vision of justice and shalom; to have serious discussion of the inequities in society and our communities; to do action planning centered in an understanding of compassion and justice. Such occasional dosage can have an important impact on your community and the world.
Sabbath is both a state of mind and a way of life. It involves the rhythms of work and rest, renewal and rebirth. It is God’s divine gift to each of us for the healing of body and soul. Increase your dosage of Sabbath today for your health, for your relationship with God and for the improvement of all your relationships.
Tuesdays in the Chapel, 12:30-1:00 each Tuesday in Wightman Chapel here at the Center provides a mid-week Sabbath break. Come and join us if you live and work in the Nashville area. Make it a part of “the rhythm of your life.”
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.