My two favorite places in the world to travel to are Ukraine and Israel. These are the two places that God has called us to the most, which explains why I love these countries so much!
Israel is often referred to as the Holy Land. Often, when traveling to Israel, we find ourselves there during Shabbat, which is the Sabbath. I love watching the Jewish people observe Shabbat. Everything stops from sundown Friday to sundown on Saturday. Stores and restaurants are closed. Yes, even the mall is closed! Yikes! No one works or is allowed to work. It is a time to rest, play, and spend time with family. Many times my heart has been warmed and, at the same time, convicted, as I have watched families taking walks, playing, laughing singing and dancing. The American culture and, especially our “ministerial culture”, doesn’t do a very good job at observing a Sabbath.
I am one of those women who used to feel guilty if I sat down to watch a movie or if I did something that was just “for me”. I always put everyone else’s needs before my own. I couldn’t sit down because there was always laundry to do, dishes to wash, letters to write, office work to be done, people to call or visit, or people who needed my help. You know the list.
My visits to Israel have helped me to realize the value and the purpose of the Sabbath. (Evidently I totally brushed over the Scriptures in the Word of God which command us to take a Sabbath!) We are commanded to take a day of rest! God commanded people to rest. He even commanded them to rest the land by not planting a crop every seven years.
God rested and so should we!
So, my husband, Jim, and I now take a Sabbath. We deliberately and intentionally take a day “off”. We had to make ourselves. At first it wasn’t easy because we love the ministry and love our work. We enjoy a few, well, maybe quite a few, cups of coffee as we read our Bibles, talk, visit, discuss the world’s problems. Then we have brunch at one of our favorite spots. After brunch we do absolutely whatever we want to do. I no longer feel guilty and look forward to our Sabbaths together.
I exhort you, strongly encourage you, and God commands you to take a Sabbath. Put your feet up, grab a cup of coffee, and pamper yourself. Don’t feel guilty and don’t make a list of everything that needs to be done. Enjoy your day, enjoy yourself, and enjoy your family. You deserve it. It will strengthen you, your marriage, and your family. You will be a better person, wife, mother, minister, and friend.
Oh, and I forgot to say, on the others six days--work hard. :)
I don’t feel guilty anymore,
Pam King is a lover of God, her husband, her children, her grandchildren, and her life's work in ministry. Alongside her husband, Jim, Pam has been in full-time ministry for more than 36 years, with 26 years spent in missionary evangelism to Ukraine and Israel. Pam's "no-nonsense" approach to life and ministry has made her a viable resource in teaching and speaking on a myriad of subjects, including a personal favorite of "Marriage and Family". The Kings are the founders of Awaking Hope and most recently added the task of lead pastors to their ministry plate as they currently pastor Victory in Austin, TX.