EHS - Chapter 8

"The essence of being in God's image is our ability, like God, to stop."

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What a powerful sentence. Just like we have discovered that our God is an emotional, feeling God, he is also one who stops to rest. This leads us to ask 2 important initial questions:

Do you know how to STOP? Do you value REST?  

 Before moving on, we encourage you to take time to evaluate your current rhythms, as well as the overall health of these rhythms, your life, and relationships. Below are helpful, prompting questions to get you started.

–When is the last time you had a Sabbath? Not a day off, but a true, biblical Sabbath? (p. 166)
–How often throughout your day do you think about God's presence?   
–Do you feel anchored in the love of God?
–Where are you divided?  
–Where do you feel like you've lost your way?
–Where are you experiencing disagreements?  
–Where do you not feel whole? Disintegrated?  
–Do you say yes to too many things?
–Do you feel overworked, hurried, or preoccupied throughout your day?
–And finally, do you trust that God can run the world without you?

This final question gets to the heart of why stopping to rest is so important. Scazzero writes that it is only when we stop that we can fully surrender to God in trust. Trust that He is in control, not us. It is then that we recognize and respect our own humanity. Scazzero describes 2 disciplines that are the anchor to God and His love in the midst of even the darkest of circumstances: the Daily Office and Sabbath.

Q. How could these disciplines bring peace to the divisions and disagreements in your life? How could they transform your relationships, your health, your overall enjoyment of life?

We believe in the transformative power of these 2 disciplines, and have provided 3 steps to help you integrate them into your rhythm of life. 

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 1. Identify What Helps and What Doesn't (Daily Office)
The practice of the Daily Office looks different for every person.  

–Choose the time of day and length of time for your Daily Offices.
–Choose your content (specific resource/devotional, Psalms, worship, etc.).

Evaluate your daily rhythm and what works best for you, as well as what you want and desire from this time. Don't feel pressured to model what your friend, spouse, or roommate does. Discover what works best for you. 

 2. Identify What to Rest From (Sabbath)
One of the most important parts of Sabbath is figuring out what is work for you versus what brings you life.  

 Review the list on pg. 168. 
–What do you need to replace with rest on your Sabbath?
–What do you need to stop doing once a week?
–What is work for you?

3. Make a Plan
Create space throughout each day and week to cultivate the Daily Office and Sabbath into your normal rhythm of life.  Really commit to this rhythm, and reflect on how it affects your day and week overall.  Your productivity, your energy, your relationships, etc. 

–What day of the week makes the most sense?
–What brings you life? What do you enjoy doing that you normally don't have time for?
–How can you slow down throughout your day?
–How do you need to prepare for your Sabbath during the week?
–What tasks need to be added to a different day so you can fully enjoy your Sabbath?

Commit to your plan for the next 4 weeks. Evaluate what works and what doesn’t.  

 When we stop, we are invited into perichoerisis, the Divine Dance, the perfect indwelling of the Trinity in one another. All summer long we've been diving into this idea, and Scazzero lists it as one of the 4 foundational qualities of biblical Sabbath: to have fun and delight in the world around us, in all that God has given us.  

As you begin this journey of stopping, we encourage you to reflect back on Rob's teaching on 1 Corinthians 2. The question is not "does God speak,” but rather "are your ears awake?"  We don't want to just "get by" or “survive" our life. We want to be pioneers, to dream with God. As you incorporate the Daily Office and Sabbath into your life, make sure your "ears are awake" to all He is saying to you. Dream and delight in and with Him.

> > >  by Stefanie Drawdy