"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Scripture Saturday

"Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God."

-Exodus 20: 8-10a

   Well, here's a verse that's harder to follow than it sounds.  I learned this one so long ago, it seems I've always known it.  And unlike the tenth commandment about not coveting your neighbor's belongings (my bestie's Barbie dream house, ugh!), this one seemed like a no-brainer to a small child.

     Flash forward a decade or so, and I'm working on a group project with a high school classmate.  Mind you, this was in the days before instant messaging and Google Docs.  So if you wanted to work on your group project over the weekend, you either had to do it over the phone or *gasp* have a face to face meeting!  And while I was trying to set up such a meeting with my partner, he explained to me that he was unavailable on Sunday because he kept the Sabbath holy.

     Red blooded American teen that I was, I figured he was just being overly pious.  But I pretended to agree with him, because what self-respecting Christian openly disobeys the Ten Commandments?  And I kept his comment in my heart for years.

     Flash forward again to my first years as an employed adult.  As a first year teacher, you get really overwhelmed with your work.  I mean, really overwhelmed.  Every single teacher I've ever met has horror stories about that first year.  And I'm no exception.  So determined was I to be that A+ Teacher like all the mugs say, that I was working to the bone many hours a day, seven days a week.

     But somewhere in that year, I read a commentary of the Ten Commandments that stated that God wasn't punishing us by making us take a day of rest, he was rewarding us.  God, the commentary said, wanted us to have some time to ourselves.

     Now, I think that commentary missed the mark because the whole point of the Sabbath is to keep it holy.  That doesn't mean it's a party day.  It's not set aside for us, it's set aside for God.  But in taking that time to get closer to God, we are in fact allowing ourselves the greatest reward we could ever have.  And by taking the focus off ourselves and all the crazy busyness of daily life, we do end up getting that break that we really do need.

     Am I perfect at this?  I wish!  But, like my high school friend, I now strive to set aside my work for that one day each week.  And I do work at honoring God on that day, because it shouldn't be just a common day like any other.  It makes a difference, it really does.

     So, as another school year gets ready to begin, I find myself starting to get charged up, working on school projects.  I need to remind myself, as God had to remind the Hebrews, that the Sabbath day is meant to be holy.  And I pray that I can remember that throughout this school year.