sabbaths & students

I’m not sure what your own convictions are regarding the notion of “sabbath.” For several years now (probably not since college, but maybe), I’ve tried to take a weekly 24-hour “respite” from “work” (and both “respite” and “work” are in quotes, but my life is what it is). It’s not a hard-and-fast rule for me, nor has the day (or the sabbathicity) been the same day week-to-week. I’m no expert on the concept, but this seems to be a right-and-good (and health-inducing) thing in my life.

So I was wondering if this was a topic or principle we’ve introduced to our college students. Ever. And though we’d all probably fall on slightly different lines here, one point of Sabbath Principle that seems extremely pertinent is this: “Sabbath” was always largely about trust. When God gave the specific Sabbath laws, it’s not like it was particularly comfy for those Israelites to take a day off, either. That’s why God had to keep admonishing them for breaking the Sabbath.

And so that rest business that our students so ignore (so often), tempted even by the resiliency of their own bodies (but 3am bedtimes don’t stay doable forever, kiddies!), might need to be offered as a matter of trust, not simply good advice or even wisdom. Is your ministry producing students who will trust God enough to shelve work for even one day or one hour when that hour (or day) is better spent in play or prayer or sleep or Monopoly?

Surely there’s some foresight in including this discipline within our students’ regimen; just like tithing, this obedience has training wheels now – learning this habit later won’t be nearly as easy.

Picture taken at Ouachita Baptist University!

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