The TGIF (Thank Goodness it’s Friday) idea is not one that rings true for pastors. Friday is that moment of reality that Sunday is soon to be here. For some of us we are prepared, sermon written, and pretty much everything is in place. For others of us who work best under pressure we are getting ready for the pressure cooker of Saturday research and message writing. But whichever camp we fall into Friday is the precursor to busyness, not its end.
While Friday is a precursor to busyness somewhere in our rhythm there needs to be that TGIF moment. The time when we look and say that there is a time (as mentioned in the previous blog post) to stop running, to start breathing we have to trust God.
Something that can make us a bit uncomfortable, especially as established and new church pastors is recognizing the reason a lot of us keep running, even on the day when God says it’s OK to stop: the reason is we don’t think that our small part of the world can get along without us for a day, that it can’t get along without the work that we do, the efforts we make. We don’t trust that God can get his work done (this is not revealed in what we say, but what we do), if we really take the one day off in seven that he himself has given us. Until we trust that God can really get that work done, that God’s kingdom will not fall apart if what needs to get done gets done a day later or even two—because we’ve taken God at his word and taken a Sabbath. Until we trust God we’ll keep running on the day he tells us to breathe.
In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah there are some words that might help us here, to take God at his word.
“This is what the LORD says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.'” (Jeremiah 17.5-8 NIV)
One last thing about Sabbath (there are more, but for this blog, one more). On the Sabbath we get to be like God. During the other six days of the week we get to be like God, we show we are made in the image of God, by working just as he worked six days to create the world. On the seventh day we get to show we are like God, that we are created in the image of God by resting. Here’s what we should t know about God resting. When God rests it means he looks over his creation, sees that it is good and he enjoys it. So when we are like God on Sabbath we have the doors opened to enjoy God’s creation. To enjoy the wonder of it, to enjoy the beauty of it, to enjoy the fascinating pieces of it. On this one day in seven God invites us to take a breath and immerse ourselves in his creation, immerse ourselves in creation in a way that renews and refreshes us. Enjoying creation in its fullness comes with taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch. On your Sabbath, take the time to enjoy the last one: touch. For many of us we fail to not only stop and smell the roses but also to touch the roses (carefully!). Steve Jobs understood the importance of this in when Apple products were created. They not only had to look beautiful, they had to feel beautiful. If you have an iPhone and never pulled it out of its protective plastic case and felt the lines and materials, you’ve not fully appreciated all that went into creating the iPhone. By the same token, if we never stop and touch God’s creation we have not fully enjoyed the work of the creator.
TGIF. What is the rhythm of your life where a moment comes and you say, TGIF?