Our pastor is doing a series about the 10 commandments this summer. Our children’s curriculum is following that series so the entire family hears the same thing each week. A few weeks ago was our turn to teach the kids. We even got to choose which commandment we wanted to teach on. We thought teaching the Sabbath would be easy…but to children? As we thought about it…do no work…rest…take time to do nothing and reflect…we thought about our kids…WHO DO NOTHING! Haha… don’t take that the wrong way. Our kids have and do chores. They have animals that they care for. They maintain their own rooms. They do things for our elderly grandparents. But not without being asked. Not without direction to do so. If we let our kids just go for a day they will find random devices to play on or jump on the trampoline for hours or draw/write in their rooms or just plain play/waste the day away. It irritated me that I was thinking my kids whole lives are Sabbath!
So we thought and pondered some more. This is not a direction given to adults only. My kids have relationships with God so it is as much for them as for me. So what did we learn in trying to teach kids about keeping a Sabbath?
1. It does not have to be a certain day.
2. Kids are great Sabbath keepers. They are not bound up in the busy busy American lifestyle. They live to relax and recharge.
3. I need to watch and learn from them…there is a time for everything. A time to play, a time to dance, a time to clean, a time to let it go!
4. During certain times of the year Sabbath moments are all we can get. My kids are busy during school and more relaxed in the summer…my schedule is always full but I can find a moment to redirect my thoughts to Jesus.
5. Sabbath is not just a relax and do no work day. It is a set aside (holy) time to reflect on Jesus and HIS work and worth in our lives.
6. Kids know how to relax but need to be trained (as we all do) to be intentional about focusing on Jesus.
7. Some of my favorite Sabbath moments are…
a. Late afternoon (almost) every day Mike and I sit down together and have a glass of something and just be…if only for a few minutes.
b. I love to hang out laundry. I have been known to work from the outside in on my round clothesline. It is peaceful and smells like Jesus in the middle of that circle
c. Music…dancing with my people…pretending we are the band…singing in the kitchen
d. Mowing the lawn
e. Going to the mountains, beach, forest, canyon, lake, anywhere natural where again you can smell Jesus and see just how creative he is
f. Just that 5 minutes before we fall asleep.
I could go on and on because this taught us to look for and appreciate those moments. Those moments where we can make it an intentional Sabbath. We want to teach our kids that “down time” can be productive in our relationship with Jesus and to the kingdom of God. So Happy Sabbath Friday!