by Lenny Cacchio
To many people, the Law of God is a set of “have to’s”. “I have to watch what I say. I have to keep my mitts off other people’s property. I have to tell the truth.” And so on.
But in reality, the Law of God is a series of “get to’s”. If everyone kept the law, we would get to live in safe neighborhoods. We would get to leave doors unlocked. We would get to have honest and noble civic leaders. We would get to have strong families and loving relationships.
And there is something else we would get to do. We would get to have some time for the important things in life. It’s a sad commentary that our fast food, 24/7 world leaves us less and less time to cement relationships with those who should be at the center of our being, namely, our family, our friends, and our God. Yet the distractions of our world and the demands on our time pull us away from the central core of our personal meaning. There will be time later, we think, to talk to our kids and to pray to our God. They will understand that we are busy now with things that can’t wait, and besides, they are probably busy too.
The longest of the Ten Commandments is the easiest to minimize in our bustling world of activity. “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” Remember it, we’re told, because it is so easy to forget. Yet there is a blessing all its own in having a day that marches to its own cadence, in which nothing is to be done except that which enhances relationships. Genesis tells us that when God made the first man and the first woman, the first thing he gave them was a day off. It was time to get to know each other and a time to sit in the presence of God. The Sabbath is a day to be and not a day to do.
The Sabbath is a safe room in time. It surrounds us with walls, protecting us from the distractions of this world. “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden,” says Jesus, “and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 16:18)
I realize the rest we have in Christ is important, but I am still a human being who lives in space and time. I need my space and I need my time unencumbered by the mundane. The Sabbath was made for man and especially for a man like me.
The Sabbath is a special place in time dedicated to things greater than place and time. The busy life murders our hearts. The rest of the Sabbath is the antidote.