Book Review – Sabbath by Wayne Muller
For many in today’s society, busyness is worn like a badge of pride and exhaustion is the trophy to show for it. The ability to withstand relentless stress is often admired and applauded. Life has become a “no holds barred”, full-speed-ahead, let-the-roses-smell-themselves way of living. If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we’d better turn down another tunnel before we get there. The lines between engagement and rest have been obliterated. This is not only in the secular segment of our world, but has infiltrated the church as well.
We are a people of rhythm who serve a God of rhythm. He created the rhythms of night and day and seasons. He created our bodies with the rhythms of breath and heartbeat. Our hearts are filled with rhythms of yearning and giving toward others. Our minds are wired to work best and most intently with rhythms of productivity and pause. Yet, there are areas of our lives where we have lost rhythm by allowing the pace of today’s modern world and the drive for success to take us beyond the natural rhythmic boundaries God has created for us and in us. These boundaries are not punitive. They reflect His passionate desire to be in relationship with us – His loved and loving creation. God’s love for us is so deep. He yearns for a reciprocal, in-depth, attentive relationship with His children and winsomely draws us to him. This is why He created Sabbath.
The most basic definition of Sabbath is “a period of rest” (Dictionary.com). Sabbath is a time to pause, rest, reflect, talk to and hear from God. Author Wayne Muller, in his book Sabbath – Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives (click here to purchase your own copy), helps us look at this spiritual discipline from number of perspectives to stir our hearts to incorporate or further incorporate it into our lives.
Sabbath is a time to pause, rest, reflect, talk to and hear from God.
Muller begins by stirring within the reader a refreshed desire to sit in Christ’s presence that may have waned, whether due to dormant longing, fear of rest, or unhealthy priorities, and bring renewed focus to our need for Sabbath. He deals with the practical questions concerning the incorporation of Sabbath: What is my present pace in life? What would be my next step in furthering this discipline? What are the practical steps to be taken for this discipline to be successfully integrated my life right now?
Relevant illustrations are taken from the author’s personal life, years as an ordained minister and work as a therapist. At the end of every chapter there are reflection questions and detailed actions suggested to assimilate aspects of Sabbath into our lives. The book includes step-by-step directions on how to conduct your own personal Sabbath retreat whether it is a few days, one day, a portion of a day or a period of time.
This book not only awakens our need for Sabbath – without causing shame or guilt, but gives time-proven actions to be taken to incorporate rest, renewal and delight in our lives that give us holy endurance and gives glory to God.
Book Review written by Major Lauren Hodgson