The Antidote For Sheer Exhaustion: Sabbath Surrender


Yesterday was one of those days when I didn't really stop moving until I fell into bed at the end of the evening.  And when I did, I fell asleep almost as quickly as my head hit the pillow.  

We're in the middle of preparing for my son's wedding at the end of this week, and there was a long list of things that needed doing before wedding guests and family started to arrive. 

You don't know how tired you are sometimes until you stop.  

I would classify the kind of tired I was last night as a good kind of tired.  I was at the church early in the morning, preached two services, did yard work, loads of laundry, prepared bedrooms for guests, ran errands, cleaned, entertained guests for dinner... 

It was a good day filled with good work done without experiencing what I have come to call the Tyranny of the Urgent.  

But there are days when I'm tired because I allowed myself to become over-scheduled, over-stressed, not well-rested, and generally overwhelmed by busyness.  

The culture within which we live and move is permeated with busyness.  We wear our busyness like a badge of honor--always ready to one-up one another with how many things we can fit into our weekly calendars.  

I read this quote from Walter Brueggeman today in my daily readings:   
Exhaustion comes from the demand that we be, in some measure, other than we truly are; such an alienation requires too much energy to navigate. 
The antidote for this kind of perpetual exhaustion of mind, body, and spirit is what I would call  Sabbath Surrender.  

Keeping the Sabbath for the ancient Hebrew people was a reminder that they were no longer slaves to perpetuating materialistic systems that de-humanized them and rendered them utterly exhausted.  

When we are able to surrender ourselves to the rhythms of work and rest that we see outlined in Scripture, we discover new energies to do good work, to let go of the need to appear capable because of our over-full calendar, and to be the people God means for us to be.  

May you find the courage to experience Sabbath Surrender today and every day forward.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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