God’s Rhythm of Work and Rest in Our Lives

There is a rhythm in the world, in our worship and in our lives. The seasons of creation keep moving, the seasons of the church calendar change (we are now in the season of Lent), and our lives include cycles of change physically and mentally. We see the rhythm in the story of creation where God worked for six days, then rested on the seventh day. This 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 is disturbed or not observed that physical and emotional ill health often follow. Continue reading and you will find a prescription for “Sabbath time” that will help you gain rest and wholeness for both body and soul.

Daily Dosage
A daily devotional time can become a time of rest and letting God into our lives. We often include scripture, prayer and sometimes other inspirational reading. As this time is observed each day, allow yourself to turn off the world around you, relax, rest your body and mind, be attentive to God’s spirit within you. Don’t worry about what is not being done. Recognize your own limits. Put your worries and concerns into God’s hands and simply be with God.

Weekly Dosage
This one day of rest after working six days is a wonderful gift from God. Hopefully you can spend part of your Sabbath day in corporate worship, but this is not always available to everyone. This one day a week allows time for family and friends. It can be a time for enjoying the sacredness of life through walking, talking, sharing of joys and concerns, experiencing God’s creation, reading, or just sitting.

Annual Dosage
Intentionally set aside at least two days a year for an individual or corporate retreat as a time of renewal. Such time allows you to catch your breath, recover from weariness, contemplate life and God’s call, and be grateful and open to God’s grace. Renewal and retreat time is set apart for being – for being the child of God that you are. Such time can help bring wholeness to life; it can heal the broken places; or it can change your priorities. You will experience holy time, so be prepared for God’s transforming presence in your life.

A Special Dosage Available Now
On March 28 starting at 5:30 with dinner through March 30 at 2:00 pm, Scarritt Bennett Center is offering a silent retreat “Listen: The Silence Speaks.” This retreat is designed to provide space, resources, and content for enrichment, reenergizing and renewal during the season of Lent. The art of listening will be experienced through a variety of exercises and resources including labyrinth walking, contemplative music, art meditation, silent meditation, group presentations, and reading for discernment. This retreat will provide for each participant time for introspection and prayer, and time to gain strength and direction to continue the spiritual journey. Melissa Tidwell, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio is leading this retreat.

Registration is still open and I encourage you to register today at Two registration options are available: Stay on campus 2 nights, enjoy 6 meals, pay your tuition and applicable taxes for $300 or Commute from home and pay tuition, taxes and cost of 6 meals for $180.

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 for 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.

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.

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