This month’s write-up from Rev Kevin Fitzgibbon…
Is it time to catch your breath?
As we move into Summer time perhaps we need to see if we can slow down a bit, take a holiday and learn to enjoy life. We seem to live life at a frenetic pace these days and there never seems to be enough time and we end up chasing our tails and exhausted. The technology that was supposed to come to our aid seems to drive us even more with phones to check, texts and emails shouting for attention when we have supposedly finished our work.
It may surprise you to know that when God had a busy week he took a day off to rest. You can read about it right in the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis Chapter 1. He had been working creating everything, it all turned out very good and at the beginning of Chapter 2 we read:
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Later on when God gave to his people the Ten Commandments to have a good life, number four says take a day off every week. Remember the Sabbath, keep it holy and don’t do any work on that day (Exodus Chapter 20 verse 8). Contrary to what many people think God gives us rules to make our lives better not to make them worse. We all know that life works better when we have rules to help us to function together, for example we need to know which side of the road to drive on, imagine a Cup Final without a Referee and the rules of the game.
The word Sabbath means, ‘Cease’. Take a day every week to rest our body, to leave off from working and relax. Use that day to recharge our emotions, to find some quiet and some peace. Use that day to be renewed spiritually to develop a sense of awe, reflection and worship (Church can really help you with this). If you find yourself too busy to take a day off, then you are too busy and your life will be full of stress and anxiety.
The Sabbath is not just a day it is also a principle to try to build into our life so that we can build in sensible amounts of rest as well as activity. Many of us try to live with the delusion that a slower day is coming. In reality it will only happen if we put the sabbatical principle in place and take control of our workload, our diary and the expectations that we try to fulfil.
Most of us need to work of course, but the things and people that we value should set the agenda for the way we manage our lives. As a Minister responsible for running six churches I am still trying to make this principle work for me, but I at least know that I must keep trying to build a Sabbath rest into my own life each week. Perhaps the summer and a holiday, if you are able to have one, will give us all an incentive to better balance our lives and discover the benefits. If God needs a day off each week it stands to reason that you and I do.
With my best wishes,
Kevin – Parish Priest