Monday, November 05, 2007

"You Shall Take Delight In The Lord."

“Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.” –Ezekiel 20:12

Funny how you can be so sure of something and yet it wasn't and isn't true. C-Team introduced to InterVarsity's leadership team the idea of "sabbath week." Basically, for a week, leadership team members are supposed to remove themselves from InterVarsity and the stress that can result from helping shepherd the body. For a week, we were supposed to not read/answer IV emails, not plan events, not attend Oasis or small group, but spend time enjoying God and being in His presence and renew our love for serving on leadership. That's my non-eloquent way of explaining it.
I am a go-go-go person. Like a lot of people nowadays, I want everything to get done, even if the volume of things to do should take me 27 hours, rather than the 24 we get each day. And I like to do everything myself. I don't like to allow people to help me, whether that's because of my inability to humble myself enough to admit that I cannot do it alone, or whether it is simply because I'm afraid to ask for help, or a combination. Being a student requires a lot of work. Being a CA requires a lot of work, but the harder thing is that I have to be "on" 24 hours a day. When that resident comes knocking on my door at 2am because she needs to talk, or when someone pulls the fire alarm and we are once again evacuated and then asked to do crowd-control, or when there's an incident on the floor at midnight and I have a major exam the next day, I have to be ready to deal with it.
When the idea of a sabbath week was first presented, it wasn't that I thought it was a bad idea. The problem for me was that, up until that point, I had been to one Oasis meeting in the two months we had been in school. And I had only gone to two small group meetings. Not for lack of wanting to be at either, but simply because I often ended up on-duty on those nights. (Which has been a blessing, because my focus has shifted from the ministry and the ministry only, to my relationship with God) But my first reaction was that it wasn't "fair." I didn't want to blindly sign up for a week when I didn't know what Mondays and Thursdays I would be on-duty. As luck (er... as God) would have it, the week I signed up for ended up being the week that I wasn't on duty either night. Boo. I kept telling people that IV didn't cause me stress. That IV brought me joy, helped challenge and grow me. That I loved IV.
My other frustration with the Sabbath week was that I couldn't take a sabbath from my job, though I've mentioned it to my supervisor... I don't think she totally understood. In the end, the stress in my life, I thought came from my job, not from IV. That my joy in serving with IV had not been lost in the stress or the hustle and bustle of planning events.

And so this week, I went reluctantly into my sabbath week. But I realized tonight, after being told in no uncertain terms, (but I am grateful for this) that I am denying God the opportunity to bless my richly with rest. To give me a week with one less thing on my calendar, with one less thing to have to attend, to have to be "on" for. And IV does cause me stress. And God loves me and us enough that He created an entire day for rest, so that we could be in His presence.

So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. –Genesis 2:3

That verse. It stuck out to me. I am super-arrogant if I think that I do not need or cannot rest on the Sabbath. At some point I got it into my head that I was above needing the sabbath or that things would fall apart if I let everything go for a week. Funny, though, that the God of the universe, the Creator and Sanctifier could rest on the seventh day from all His work, and I believe that I cannot...

If you honor [the Sabbath], not going your own ways or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly, then you shall take delight in the Lord.
–Isaiah 58:13,14

My prayer this week is that I would humble myself enough to enter God's rest and to delight in Him. To do nothing more occassionally, not only this week, but in my life, than sit at His feet and just "be." The world isn't going to fall apart. Things are not going to fall to pieces. God's got it and it's okay for me to rest. My prayer is that God would teach me, show me, and break me so that I can rest fully in Him, knowing that rest is not an obligation. It is a blessing. And that I would take joy in this.

He restores my soul. –Psalm 23:3a