by Sarah Sundin
While the life of a writer sounds idyllic-spinning stories and signing books-the reality is a whirlwind. When my fourth novel released last September, I worked nonstop-writing, emails, Facebook, interviews, Twitter, newsletters, articles, speaking engagements. By November I was a wreck.
I haven’t been a big fan of “God’s One Word of the Year for You.” One word only? Every January 1? Right on schedule? Really? However, this year a word emerged for me. Granted, God gave it to me in February. But I knew it was from God because I didn’t want to hear it.
To most of us Sabbath means going to church every Sunday. Sure, we can do that. But God’s commandment is much more than this. It’s a command to rest.
Exodus 20: 8-11: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work…For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.”
If the Lord Almighty took a day off, so should we! The Lord knows our tendency to run ourselves ragged. The Lord knew before creation that we would live in a 24/7 world with our faces glued to our screens. The Lord made us and knows how we function, and He knows we need rest.
How loving and merciful He is to command us to rest. Yet we resist, like toddlers being put down for naps.
What does Sabbath rest truly look like for a professional writer living in a 24/7 world, where deadlines need to be met, emails need to be answered, Facebook needs to be updated, and tweets need to be tweeted? How can we incorporate the concept of Sabbath into our lives?
For me, this means a two-pronged approach. First, I’m trimming things down. Instead of jumping on each promotional opportunity, I evaluate it first. Will it reach new readers, connect with current readers, or minister to people? If not, I’ll pass.
Second, I’m intentionally working rest into my routines. Nice long breaks during the workday, taking the dog for a walk or reading a novel. Regular days off-except the daily internet necessities…sigh. A week-long vacation focused on family and being outside-I have the sunburned scalp to prove it.
My fifth novel releases tomorrow, a blessing in every way. This time I’m determined to listen to the Lord and obey His command to rest.
How about you? How do you incorporate Sabbath into your life?
Sarah Sundin is the author of four historical novels, including On Distant Shores (Revell, August 2013, http://www.fictionfinder.com/book/detail/2411 ) She lives in California with her husband and children, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and was honored to be named Mount Hermon’s 2011 Writer of the Year.