Message from Olive Chapel

We live in a society that truly has a hard time slowing down. How many of us will eat our dinner while sitting in front of the television, and consecutively scrolling through Facebook?

We jump from work to after school sports for our kids, to meetings, or other obligations.

Rest isn’t even an option in the weekend but rather spent doing household chores and obligations. We may go weeks or months at this pace without one moment to slow down and reflect on anything, let alone the goodness of God.

From my observations our busy-ness has contributed to a very emotionally sick, relationally disconnected, exhausted culture.

The fourth commandment says that we are to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Most of us would agree that the other nine commandments are ethical and important. Even those who don’t agree that there is a God may agree that the last five commandments are important to keep, and yet few give much thought to keeping the Sabbath Holy. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath Holy? Is this concept out dated?

For years the Sabbath has not been something I thought too much about, but during my vacation in Florida over Christmas my flippant attitude began to change.

My family and I went for a walk on the beach. At one point, I stopped to pay attention to what I was experiencing. I took in how magnificent the waves were, the sky was so blue, and the warmth of the sun felt incredible on my UV starved northern Indiana skin. I noticed the smell of salt in the air more than ever before. At one point I stopped and looked over the ocean, and the vastness of God’s creation hit me.

The ocean stretched far beyond what I could see, or even imagine. The depth of the water was unfathomable to me. The mystery of the sea creatures swimming below the surface, some unknown to man even, struck me in a fresh way. I felt so small, but so seen by God.

I looked to my left and saw my family members playing in the waves and my heart swelled with gratitude. This moment was healing and impactful at the same time. I was breathing in life in a way that I am normally too distracted to do.

Since then I have taken little moments to feel my heart singing gratitude to the maker above. I have taken moments to feel the emotion stirring in my heart. At times it is love, other times peace, and sometimes it is a reflective grief that I feel over the sadness that comes with living in this world.

Even in the reflective sadness, there is something so satisfying about what is happening for me. Sometimes I slow down to really taste the steak, or the fruit as I eat it. I can’t help but wonder how many years of this feeling have I missed out on?

Sabbath is not supposed to be a day of legalism, or rules; it’s not a day to simply sit and be quiet, read the Bible or pray. Sabbath is created for man to slow down and enjoy. It is a day dedicated to explore the mysteries of the earth that are around us, a day to explore our relationships with important in our lives, a day to enjoy the five senses God gave us.

Sabbath is a day to celebrate all of this and more by expressing our gratitude to God, and others. After my time in Florida, I want to create a habit that slows down to take in all that we were meant to enjoy in life.

I don’t want to miss out on the goodness of life because I was busy doing things that won’t matter in the end. I would like to invite you to consider how to do the same. Even if, at this time in life, dedicating a full day feels too much, is there a way to take “Sabbath moments” throughout the day, or week? It is something that requires intention and does not come easy, yet it is so satisfying to do.

Olive Chapel invites you to come join us for our Sunday celebrations. We meet Sunday mornings at 10:00 A.M. EST. We would love to connect with you.

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