Have you ever watched the chaos around you in a busy city? The blare of car horns, the rumbling of a subway beneath your feet, people hurrying by. The rush of the city used to stay there, but now we take it wherever we go. The hustle is an accepted part of society. Living a life of peacefulness seems countercultural.
In the beginning, God wrote order and peace into the DNA of the universe. He established the Sabbath as the primary anchor of peace in our lives. It is His prescription for our hectic, modern lives. Besides the gift of salvation, it is God’s greatest blessing for our world today.
The Sabbath a Solution for Being Overworked
John Maynard Keyes, an English economist of the 20th century, believed that his grandchildren would work only 15 hours a week. Technology was supposed to make us the generation of leisure.
Today, Americans work less hours than any generation in the past 150 years (in 1870 Americans worked an average of 3000 hours annually, in 2017 the average hours per worker was 1760 annually), yet we have no leisure time. We take half as many vacation days as the rest of the world. Technology has slashed our work hours, but it means we never leave work behind.
Imagine if we had one day every week to put away all distractions and simply rest. I’ve got good news for you! God knew we would all become workaholics, so in His mercy He created a whole day for us to rest. God doesn’t just give us 20 days of vacation (the average amount for an American) each year. He gives us 52 days a year! The Sabbath is God’s answer to your overwork. Once a week, God invites us to a 24 hour mental, emotional, and spiritual reset. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The Sabbath a Solution for Anxiety and Media Addiction
We may not be the leisure generation, but we are the anxious, media-addicted generation. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. Currently, there are 4.14 billion social media users worldwide. If social media were a religion (which it kind of is) it would be the largest religion in the world, doubling Christianity and quadrupling Islam. Social media addiction causes anxiety, yet we average 2 hours and 24 minutes daily on it. Whenever we have a spare moment, we use our phones to distract us from boredom. Our obsession is costing us our mental health.
One day a week, we must put it away. Imagine how refreshed we would be if we turned our phones off and stayed away from media all day. I recently decided to do this, and my Sabbath was much more refreshing.
Are you anxious? The Bible tells us to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). The Sabbath can help you break an addiction to media and lower your anxiety. Try it this coming Sabbath. Turn off all notifications, uninstall all your social media, and for 24 hours find rest in the quietness. Instead of using technology to cure your boredom, use the time to connect with God and the people around you.
A Day Made for You
When I was a kid, I would count down the hours till sundown so that I could play my games or watch my favorite movie. I saw the Sabbath as an inconvenience, not a gift.
Now I look forward to the Sabbath every single week. I anticipate the mental and physical rest and the time with my Savior. The Sabbath has radically changed my life.
While the world searches for new ways to combat our anxiety disorders and workaholic addiction, God has given us the perfect solution—the Sabbath.
“The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).