Beyond the buff Jesus: Seeking Sabbath

Sabbath is a time of rest. Open the Bible and you will find the commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. It sounds like a wonderful thing: a full day to rest, worship and be still.

I do not know about you, but making Sabbath a priority is not something that I am very good at. My to-do lists are a mile-long, assignments seem to never end and I don’t remember there ever being time to simply rest. But the commandment says to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, not to remember the Sabbath day every once in a while when we have time.

I am constantly on the lookout for opportunities for Sabbath here on campus. I often think that I am not able to give an entire day to Sabbath because my homework won’t always wait and putting things off will cause stress. But as I look at my color coded, every hour of every day planned-out life, I see that maybe I have been taking a Sabbath day all along and never noticed.

A typical Tuesday this semester will look like this: Sit Down and Shut Up chapel program at 8 a.m., class at 9:30 a.m., choir at 12:20 p.m., chapel at 1:15 p.m., Peace and World Concerns Committee at 5 p.m., and Women at the Well chapel program at 6:30 p.m. This may not sound like a day of rest to anybody else, but Tuesdays leave me recharged and ready for the rest of the week.

Sit Down and Shut Up is 30 minutes during which no one says a word. It is a time to reflect, to pray or to meditate. The program began last spring and is often small in terms of turnout, but always lovely. After my classes are done for the day I go to chapel, which is always the best part of my week.

Chapel is a time of worship. It is a time to, in the words of Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, “stop in the name of love.” It is not intended to replace worship at a community church on a Sunday morning, but rather to give students a time to stop trying to achieve the unachievable goal of being “enough” and instead to focus on the love of God, however it may appear. This semester, we are continuing on with the theme of Faith Works and will be hearing from both seniors and professors on how their faith impacts their work.

Women at the Well is a new program that is starting on Feb. 4. It will be a women’s group that is rooted in prayer, discussion and Bible study. We will begin by looking at different women in the Bible and reflecting on their lives together as a community.

Finding time for Sabbath in our lives is not an easy task and it is something that looks different for everyone.

Maybe for you, Sabbath is going for a run or walking the labyrinth. Try different forms, but try to find Sabbath in your life.

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