I remember staring out the window discussing what God would have us do.
Would He have us walk an extra mile, help the Samaritan, or stand firm in our belief that the Sabbath should be taken? Would He have us humble ourselves and practice being peacemakers? Would He have us show kindness and help the proprietor? Would He have us “cease from our labors and focus on God as the source of all blessing” (Piper, 1985)?
I now realize that in our looking out the window, we were taking a minute away from our works and focusing on God! I believe our focusing on God is what gave us the courage to discuss our views of the Sabbath, its importance, and our choice to leave our jobs.
My husband felt that the Sabbath should be spent resting— a time to relax and recharge. With two jobs and a full load of classes, he was especially grateful for Sundays. He often said that getting a day of rest kept him sane.
I had viewed the Sabbath differently. I felt that the Sabbath should be spent resting in the Lord. To me, resting in the Lord meant spending the day praying, reading, and worshiping God— something that I never succeeded in doing. I probably asked God a thousand times to forgive me for spending my Sundays incorrectly— binge watching Netflix after church.
My husband had then reminded me that the Sabbath day wasn’t a legalistic observance that God made for man (Mark 2:23-27); that I needed not to feel guilty for resting.
Thereto, an except from Beth Moore’s The Beloved Disciple (2003) conveys the Sabbath as being a time of refreshment and recreation:
Beloved, I am convinced one of our severest needs is pure rest. Not only sleep, but refreshment and recreation Recently God spoke to me about capturing what He and I are calling “Sabbath moments.” Like many of yours, my schedule right now is particularly tough, and I see no time in the near future for a number of days off. God spoke to my heart one Saturday morning while I was preparing for Sunday school: “My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments.” I wasn’t certain what He meant. Just that morning God confirmed His desire for me to drive all the way to the other side of Houston to the medical center to visit a patient with brain cancer. I was very thankful for the privilege of visiting this patient, but I knew in advance it would be tough emotionally and far from restful.I fought the traffic across Houston, then visited with my new friend and her husband while choking back the tears. They have two young sons, and unless God performs a miracle, their mother will go home to be with the Lord before they are grown. I got in my car and prayed. I pulled out of the parking garage, fighting the tears. A few blocks later as if on autopilot, I turned my steering wheel straight into the parking lot of the Houston Zoo! Christ seemed to say, “Let’s go play.” And that we did. I hadn’t been to the zoo in years. I heard about all the improvements, but I never expected the ultimate: Starbucks coffee! (OK, so I don’t have all my health issues down pat.) Can you imagine watching a baby koala take a nap in a tree on a rare cold day in Houston with a Starbucks grande cappuccino in your hand? Now that’s a Sabbath moment! God and I had a blast.
In sharing our views, the confusion about our next steps disappeared. Together, we embraced one season ending and another beginning; Together, we chose to leave our jobs and focus on God as our source.