Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Considering this...

I've been reading this book and I can't seem to turn a page without something shaking me to my core to re-think how I spend the precious hours I'm given each day.

"Recently I was talking with a friend about a biblical passage on grace: Ephesians 2.1-10. In that passage, the apostle Paul insists that apart from Christ we are dead, and in Christ we receive love, mercy, and new life. All this comes to us as a gift, the gift of grace. We cannot do anything to earn it. My friend asked me if I ever truly experienced God's grace. As I thought about her question, I realized that (observing) the sabbath, more than anything else, has enabled me to experience this grace that comes to us in Christ.

"The sabbath teaches us grace because it connects us experientially to the basic truth that nothing we do will earn God's love. As long as we are working hard, using our gifts to serve others, experiencing joy in our work along with the toil, we are always in danger of believeing that our actions trigger God's love for us. Only in stopping, really stopping, do we teach our hearts and souls that we are loved apart from what we do."

As things are in "God's economy", such a simple lesson in unfathomable grace from such a simple but obedient task.

One other thought - completely my own and not the author's - if we tithe in obedience, in thankfulness, and in worship and if it is to remind us that it's all God's to start with and we are dependent on Him alone, what would it mean to tithe our time? Ten percent of each day is about 2.5 hours. So, wouldn't it seem appropriate in some way that we spend that much time in His presence?

Or, another way of thinking about it - seven days a week and one tenth of that is about 17 hours - about what you would spend awake on any given day. Couldn't we spend one day resting, truly focusing on Him for one-tenth of our time?

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