By: Bryan Sampson
I remember the first time I tried paddle boarding. I wouldn’t recommend trying on the ocean for your first time. Needless to say, I couldn’t stay on the board for more than a couple of seconds; just long enough for the next wave to knock me over. As the sun bore down and the waves kept crashing into me, I kept trying, growing more and more frustrated. I could not keep my balance to save my life. I thought that mental focus would help, so I focused more intently on my body, just to be tossed aside time and time again. Nearing the end of my patience, I decided to start praying. Interestingly the more I forgot about balance and focused on God, the longer I stayed on the board. I was shocked and elated at this revelation of were to focus my consciousness. By not focusing on my balance, my body would properly adjust to every wave, keeping a perfect rhythm, that allowed me to stay on the board and start paddling. My focus switched from balance to rhythm.
I believe this picture captures the essence of what Lance Witt (2018) was getting at in establishing rhythm (see p.53). Life, like the waves in the ocean, has a lot of ups and downs, calmness and motion and if we try to keep balance, we will constantly find ourselves frustrated and weary of our pursuits. So how do we switch from the pursuit of balance to the dance of rhythm? God gave us the practical strategy to help us live a life of rhythm and it is called Sabbath.
There will always be more to do, more to strive for, and more to accomplish, but you can choose a rhythm for your life that allows you to stop, rest, and restore. God gave you the Sabbath as a gift. How are you treating it? Witt (2018) states that “if you don’t have a biblical and theological conviction about the practice of Sabbath, the gravitational pull toward busyness will always win”. If busyness is always winning in your life, what is your prognosis? Balance or burnout?
Take time today and start to think about how you can begin to consistently participate in Sabbath keeping. Think about ways that will help you connect with God, relax, and restore. Find a hobby, meet with friends, go to a movie, go shopping, whatever it is, go enjoy yourself and relax. Remember God infused the Sabbath day with blessings (Exod. 20:11) and a healthy you is the best gift you can give your team (Witt, 2018).