Sabbath This July


First Focus

Sabbath This July

At Walgreens this weekend, the new clerk struggled with the touch-screen register. I stood in one line; he was trying in vain to check out customers in the other line. Exasperated, he called the manager over and said, “I keep pushing buttons, and nothing is working.” The manager replied, “The more buttons you push, the worse you make it. Sometimes you just have to stop pushing buttons.”

All of us know the feeling, whether working the machine or standing in an elevator, you can’t just keep pushing buttons. You just have to pause and wait. It’s hard to find space in the calendar at FBCTLH for waiting. Even the month of July is a busy one. With Builder’s for Christ leaving this weekend for Virginia, and Youth programs in full swing, we still need a time to reset that doesn’t involve frenetic activity.

I invite you to use July to embody the Sabbath. Just as Jesus was a living Sabbath for all of us to follow, we can refresh our world by taking time to soak, reflect, and stop. Take time to reflect on where God is working in your life. What is he saying to you right now? Come to a Wednesday night study to listen for his voice from scripture. Check on a neighbor, and spend time listening to her. Turn off your phone, stop checking email, find a good book, take a meal to a hungry person. Refresh the world around you, and let the Spirit fill your life again.

By waiting, we remember that who we are is so much more important than what we can do—or struggle to do. When life makes us feel like there’s always another button to push, we remember that we aren’t measured by our ability to keep up. God shows us that we “renew our strength” by “waiting on the Lord” (Isaiah 40:31). The only way to do so is to trust dependently on him and on those whose help we need.

By the time I finished eavesdropping on the conversation, and checking out at Walgreen’s, the calm manager had restored peace to the new clerk. He said in a very calm considerate way, “I’m going to press one button; if that doesn’t work, we’ll just restart.” And they did.