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Take time to simply be with God

Take time to simply be with God

Recently I was talking to some friends about how much I can feel it when I do not get a good night's sleep.

I'm still pretty young, but the days when I would go on backpacking trips and sleep on nothing more than a half inch of padding separating me from the ground feel like an eternity ago.

This is certainly in part because I am getting older. But I'm also more protective of my sleep now than I was in years past. I'm conscientious of how much better I feel and function when I am well-rested.

And since I have young children and work full time, the reality is I need as much energy as I can get.

I've noticed that the same is true in my devotional life. If I don't spend some intentional time with God on a regular basis, the rest of my life feels out of whack.

Just like I've come to know how much I need a good night's sleep, I've come to realize how important spending quality time with God is as well.

It turns out there's a connection between respecting your body's need for rest and being deliberate about taking some time out with God: they are both ways to honor God's command, "Honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy."

Of course, Sabbath doesn't just mean worship, though it is related to it. Sabbath means taking time to connect with God while at the same time letting yourself be reminded that the world will in fact keep spinning if you take a break for a bit.

When it comes down to it, Sabbath is the spiritual practice of saying no: No, we are not available that night. No, I will not answer the phone during dinner. No, I have all the possessions I can take care of.

Sabbath is also about remembering that our significance does not come from our work or how busy we are. Your worth has already been established by God. "I have called you by name, you are mine," He tells us.

With that in mind, this week, I invite you to find some time to rest and to simply be with God so that you can let this truth sink in. While you're at it, I invite you to talk someone you love into doing so as well.

By Kari van Wakeren, pastor at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria