Every Friday my family and I prepare our hearts and our home for Sabbath. We clean up the entire home, cook a large meal, and my wife bakes amazing challah bread for us to partake. We start our Sabbath by eating a meal together as a family, followed by a sweet time of worship and prayer together. We end our evening back at our table with challah and grape juice, not as communion, but thanking God for the fruit of the vine and bread from the earth.

We will each take a turn reflecting on what God has taught us or what we are thankful for over the past week. We then head to bed with no alarms set for the morning and no agenda for the day. It is a beautiful time of abiding, rest, prayer, study, reading, reflection, refreshing, and whatever else the Spirit may have for us.

My time at NextGen was a wonderful affirmation of how formative these rhythms can be. Something the Lord put on my heart was how caught up I can become in chasing after shalom and sabbath. Imagine swimming to the middle of the river to get a sip of water when Jesus gives us all we need right there at the shore; we simply need to abide.

I think about Hebrews 12 and the exhortation to “throw off everything that hinders” and I wonder if this is not only applicable to our race but also our rest? No doubt there is sin that needs to be dealt with, but there are also many “good” things that may need to be thrown off so we can run AND rest better. During the Exodus, God did not just take the shackles off the Israelites’ feet, he also took the tools out of their hands every week so they would be reminded that He was their sustainer and provider. I wonder what things He may be calling you to put down as well? Be blessed friends.