I'm currently about half way through this book. I received it as a Christmas present from my parents this year, and honestly didn't know what to expect. Usually we enjoy the same type of books, but I can't remember ever reading a book on the Sabbath, so I was a little nervous.
Ever read a book that drove an arrow into such a deep place in your heart that you wanted nothing more than to read through it all in one sitting, and yet, had to force yourself to slowly digest every word because it struck so deep a nerve? Welcome to my experience with this book. I've been crawling through it for about a week now, reading half a chapter here, a few pages there. Even though I recognize that I could easily go back and read it a second and third time, I absolutely don't want to miss anything the first time around!
There was one sentence this morning that captured my heart. One of my best friends is moving to Phoenix this weekend, and last night another buddy and I took him out as a final hurrah, a farewell without it being an everlasting goodbye. In the book, the author is discussing a moment in time where he and his wife invited 2 other couples to share in their celebration of Sabbath for that week. They got to a point of sitting after dinner, sharing wonderful conversation. And then he wrote this,
"WE KNOW ONE ANOTHER WELL ENOUGH TO TELL TRULY TRUE STORIES, YET NOT SO WELL THAT WE KNEW WHAT STORIES WOULD BE TOLD."
To me, it's almost as if that's what last night was for me, beautifully penned for me this morning as I read. Last night seemed to be one of those magical nights, encounters with friends where nothing special happens, and yet it brings such joy to the soul. We probably ran through most emotions as we shared some frustrations past and present, talked some of the future, and laughed so hard that we cried simultaneously. We were honest, and yet did not necessarily know what would come out of each other's mouths.
And as I've sat and thought about that time this morning, I've felt the emotions of sadness at one friend moving away, and yet felt extreme gratitude that God has blessed with me such friends! Amazingly, I have more friends with which to share memories such as this in the coming weeks, months, and years. Beyond that, and more importantly, God's graciously given me such an amazing family with which to do life. In a world where so many people are detached from the rest of humanity, I've been blessed beyond measure with great people surrounding me.
Which brings me back to thoughts on the Sabbath. While I'm surrounded by people far greater than I, I am struck by how little I search for moments like last night with Jesus. Rarely do I sit at his feet, share a meal with Him, share a laugh with him, talk about life, etc. In fact, my church is beginning a series on Eating and Praying God's Word. Very timely for me I think. Many of those close to me would say I'm crazy, that I spend lots of time with Jesus, and my "devotional" life is something they appreciate about me. Not trying to be prideful here, many have shared that with me.
But there's a difference between going through the motions and FULLY ENGAGING with Jesus. Lately I've been a motion person, and I'm craving more and more a full engagement with Jesus. So, I'm going to continue crawling through this book, soaking up every morsel in it, and look for more time to devote to Jesus.
My question to you? How are you being challenged right now? This is THE time of year where people have made new resolutions, goals, etc. Let's hear them! How do you want life to be better? What's your plan to get there? Me, I need more of Jesus in my life. So, I'm going to start investing more in a weekly Sabbath.