Sabbath-keeping is a resistance movement, and it’s very counter-cultural. Sabbath-keeping is a resistance to the clutter, the noise, the advertising, the busyness, and the “virtual living” that sucks the life out of our lives. Sabbath-keeping is a resistance to constant production, and work, and accumulation. It may be the most difficult of the Ten Commandments to keep, and it may also be the most important.

-Br. Curtis Almquist Society of St. John the Evangelist, Brother Give us a Word, August 26, 2018

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Keeping Sabbath in our culture is indeed more than difficult. I have one friend who rests completely on the sabbath. She does nothing work related, tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I am reminded of my grandparents who did this as well. My grandmother would not even do a little sewing on Sunday. I often spent Sundays with them. We ate, we rested, we walked about on my grandfather’s farm, and we went to church. We did watch the Ed Sullivan show at night on the television after making seven up floats. I would then spend the night in their guest double bed that seemed unbelievably huge at the time. I most remember the feeling of love and peace on these days. I wonder how much was related to Sabbath keeping.

They mentored for me what to do, but I have forgotten. I am an important person. I will never make those deadlines unless I do a little work on Sunday. A little turns into several hours. Once I start, it is hard to stop. I will rest later.

I do want to keep the sabbath. It is not too late to start. Join me. Let us encourage one another. Maybe we need a sabbath  recovery group to share stories with each other about what happens when we keep the sabbath.

When  I meet with people about spiritual direction, I try to ask them how they keep sabbath. I am hoping to learn from them as much as reminding them about this spiritual gift which is also the third commandment. It may be the only spiritual gift that is a commandment.

The  ten commandments honor God but also were given for our own health and safety. Sometimes it is helpful for me to view them not just as rules but as guides to a healthy life more important than diet and exercise.