“What have you done to pay the freight today?” my father asked, insinuating quite clearly that if I was not actively working toward a goal – paying the freight – I was not ‘about my business‘. Living off past laurels was no guarantee of future success!
In early 2005, I started a project I have worked diligently to bring to life – and I am nearly there. Alas, I am habituated to the rush generated by the adrenalin of working long and hard to complete my project. Here is my dilemma: do I seek a new project so I don’t rest on my laurels and have the added bonus of generating continued adrenalin rushes? Or, do I declare a Sabbath Year.
In Genesis, God rests on the 7th, or Sabbath, day. Sabbath means rest and traditionally celebrates the 7th of something. The testament continues to instruct that the 7th is be kept holy, proclaiming the 7th day as a day of rest, and the 7th year as a year of rest. And at the conclusion of 7 groups of 7 years is the Year of the Jubilee – the deepest of rests when the earth returns to it’s rightful owner and the slaves are to be freed.
Rest gets a bad rap in our culture, because time spent resting is time spent not producing. The only kind of rest our culture understands – and avoids as much as possible – is the eternal kind. When we get right down to it, time is the greatest resource we have. How we spend it, invest it, and use it reflects what we value.
Sabbath rest is not quite the same as living off past laurels. Ironically, Sabbath rest is, in it’s own way, active. It is proclaiming, honoring and celebrating the work of the previous six, while resting and preparing to live into the next seven. I declare this a Sabbath year. I hope Dad will understand.