About a year ago, my wife Veronica asked me, “What does it mean to observe a Sabbath? I think we’re supposed to try this out.” Then we experimented and tried to live into where God was directing us. The more we practiced Sabbath, the more we realized we actually crave Sabbath. Suddenly all those verses about “Sabbath being for people” made sense. God’s instructions aren’t arbitrary laws to make us jump through hoops; they’re reflections of God’s character designed to give us better life and connection.
I’m no Sabbath expert, but here’s our current recipe if you want to attempt the Gill Family Sabbath. Feel free to tweak it as needed for personal taste. We start at sundown on Saturday and go until sundown on Sunday. During that time, add the following:
- 3 pre-made meals (may substitute leftovers, HEB frozen lasagna works great, bake on Saturday)
- 1 part disposable/recyclable dishes and silverware (aka no dishes to wash)
- 0 parts work and “being productive” (aka freedom from the tyranny of producing)
- 0 parts screens or phones
- 1 walk in the park (with some drive-thru coffee purchased if needed – which it often is!)
- Some time with God
- A large serving of being present and playing with family
While not a perfect recipe, it has significantly helped our rest and wellbeing. And it has helped me to be present. We help keep each other accountable, so we don’t do any work. We even discuss if something can be put off until the sun goes down. Tracking Sabbath from sundown to sundown matches the Jewish tradition, and it gives us a visual timer. We race to finish work on Saturday, and then wait until after the sun sets on Sunday to prepare for Monday.
I hope this may spark something inside you to take a step toward being more present with God and with those around you.
Questions to consider:
- How present does my family say I am?
- Would experimenting with a Sabbath be something God might like me to try?
Be free and be blessed,
Josh Gill – LLFC Assistant Director