Badges are a symbol of pride. We wear them after an achievement to declare to the world that we’ve accomplished our goals. Think of the letterman jacket you wore in high school or a girl scout sash sporting your accolades. We’ve come to grow accustomed to seeing these symbols because they represent who we are. Tonight at Lacrosse practice a dad asked if I am wearing my “preverbal badge” again. “Are you staying busy?” I really didn’t know how to respond but it got me thinking. Am I busy? Like too busy? Am I so busy that I trade in the gifts God gave me for the next task? Is my life so noisy that I can’t hear from God or my kids can’t hear from me?
The main badge of American of honor is busyness. If I am busy I am accomplishing something. We walk around complaining about how busy we are but we aren’t really complaining we are expressing our honor. We are too busy for rest because rest is for the weary. We’ve got things to do! Maybe you’re feeling like you are too busy to finish reading this… Please keep going I think there is something worth reading here.
For some reason we’ve come to equate busyness with success. What if busyness was actually the enemy of success? What if busyness is the result of restlessness because we have to control our lives? As the world begins to spin again I’m concerned that we will grab our badge of busyness and join the never end rat race again.
Sometimes people tell me, “If God can create the world in seven days don’t you think he can move in your life?” Well, God didn’t create the world in seven days…. He did it in six. I know, I know, dad joke — not funny. But there is a significant truth there that needs to be peeled into.
God took the seventh day to rest. Did God need to rest? No, he neither sleeps nor slumbers. He builds the house and lets us sleep. He rested to create a rhythm in our lives. He modeled that busyness is the enemy of Godliness. Rest communicates that God is in control. Rest reveals that we trust that God is God and we are not.
There is this Hebrew word that we translate “Sabbath.” Sabbath might be the most misunderstood word in the Bible. When I heard Sabbath I thought I needed to turn off my electricity and pray all day long. I thought I needed to become a monk. That sounds terrible to me! It sounds like a lot of work. Unfortunately that’s how most of us think about the Sabbath. The Sabbath isn’t about work it’s about refreshment… enjoyment… relaxation. It’s about reconnecting with your creator in the unique ways that he designed you.
In the Old Testament there are two passages of scripture that refer to the Sabbath. One of them is in Exodus and the other in Deuteronomy. The Exodus passage points back to creation and the Deuteronomy passage points back to slavery. Both of these passages unlock the beauty of Sabbath. We rest because God is God and we are not and we rest because we are no longer slaves. We’ve been liberated from the bondage that busyness drags us back into.
I am learning that freedom isn’t being busy but freedom is enjoying life. It’s having fun and playing with my kids. It’s loving my job and creating margin to do the things I love. It’s dating my wife and spending time laughing together. It’s trusting my staff and empowering them to succeed. It’s turning off my social media and choosing not to respond. It’s decreasing my screen time to be present in the moment.
What if we threw away our busyness badge and took a nap? What if we trusted that God is in control and we enjoyed the blessings he’s given us? We’ve tried bondage and we don’t like it. I’ve never met anyone who likes having a taskmaster and, yet, most of us have given ourselves to something. Whether we like it or not that thing starts to control us! We’ve traded dependence on God for autonomy and we make pretty crappy God’s.
I’d like to advocate for God’s way. Sabbath….
So rest. Then wake up, grab a cup of coffee (black because that’s how God made it), read your Bible because God wrote you a letter, and enjoy your day. That’s called Sabbath.