The Word — Take time for a Sabbath recharge

Published 6:25 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

I love fall. The crispness of the air, the color of the leaves, the beauty of a clear blue sky with just a hint of wood smoke in the air – hands down, fall is my favorite season. It rejuvenates me and inspires me.

Paradoxically, it is also the busiest season for me. It may be for you, too. Fall is when school starts again and many of the activities of family life kick off for the year. Sports, business, and community organizations all reengage after a summer break. Such activity is good, but in recent years summer has become full, too. Many of us may get to fall needing a break and find that it is even busier than the season that we just left behind.

In a time of the year when the weeks are filled with activities at school and work, and when the weekends are filled with obligations and events, we need to remember that we have to recharge. Just as a laptop or a cell phone must recharge regularly, our lives require frequent renewal, too. Our bodies need regular sleep and rest. Our minds need time to wander and relax and reflect instead of being in production mode all the time.

Our emotions need time to recover from the stress and intensity of life. Our relationships need time and attention to strengthen the bonds drawing us together, which can become frayed over periods of activity and daily wear-and-tear. And our spirits need regular times of connection to something larger than ourselves, something or someone that gives us purpose in life and helps us make sense of the world; we need time to be renewed in our soul.

Such need for recharging may strike us, in our hyper-busy culture, as a weakness, a competitive disadvantage, or a triviality. Yet we know, from scientific study and from our own experiences, that pushing past our limits all the time with no break fails, because our bodies, our minds, and our spirits cannot run, run, run indefinitely. We need rhythms of recharging.

This should not surprise us; our ancestors understood the wisdom of daily, weekly, and seasonal patterns of work and rest. Religious texts of ancient times speak not only of moral commands, but also of daily times of work and rest, weekly rhythms of holy days without work, and seasonal festivals of celebration and relaxation. Even the account of creation in Genesis includes a time of rest from the work of creating, giving the rationale for the Fourth Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy….For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day” (Ex. 20:8, 11).

In this beautiful and busy fall, do not forget to take time to recharge – body, mind, and soul. Take time for Sabbath.

Rev. Dr. J. Adam Tyler is the Senior Pastor for Farmville Baptist Church and he can be reached by email at pastor@farmvillebaptist.org.