Sunday, September 18, 2011

I can't do it anymore.

Call it exasperation, exhaustion, or quitting. Call it what you have to. But today, I admit, "I can't do it anymore!" This may be a cry for help or a cry for hope, either way it's a confession. As I think about the practice of Sabbath, I can only think in terms of the ideal. I can only think in terms of what could be. The reason I can only think those terms is because Sabbath has not been a real part of my life or faith, maybe ever.
I know what your thinking. "How could you?" and "Tsk, Tsk", and you are right in thinking those things. However, I confess that to you as a part of a larger revelation which is "I can't do it anymore!". I can't keep the pace I have been keeping. As Wendell once said, "You can't keep burning the candle at both ends and coming back for more wax." (I think I got it right). I can't do it all! I feel like Moses, when his father-in-law Jethro visits. Here I am with family in town to visit, and all I have time to do is work. Surely it is justified though, the people need me. Then Jethro speaks up, my momentary guilt is pardoned by the overwhelming sense of relief and hope that his words bring, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone" (Exodus 18:17-18). This comes after Jethro watches Moses work for 1 day! How many people could have said the same to me, but held their tongue out of "respect"?
So, now that we have that out of the way? What is the start to rectify the situation. Again we can look at Jethro's instruction to Moses. After pointing out to Moses that the work is too much Jethro offers this instruction: "You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave."  WAIT a minute! I thought this story was about Biblical management and the division of labor. You know the whole some were in charge of 10s, others were in charges of 100s, and others still in charge of 1000s. Jethro gets there but the first line of defense is to make apparent the standard of judgment which is the word of God.
So let us follow Jethro's instructions as well, let us be taught the decrees and instructions of God, so that we might know the way to live and how we are to behave. Especially in regards to Sabbath keeping.

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