September 19, 2016
I sat back in my chair, basking in the fresh air. In front of me lay a full English tea service: tiny sandwiches, scones, and pastries. A dainty teacup contained my Palace Earl Grey tea, to which I gleefully added two lumps of sugar. An umbrella shaded me from the sun in the uncommonly warm London weather. I looked at the perfectly manicured green lawn stretched out in front of the red-bricked palace in front of me, wondering if any royalty happened to be home taking care of a brand new baby boy. Throughout my entire afternoon tea, I texted my “mum,” who was half a world away in California coincidentally enjoying her own peach scones for breakfast.
Technology permeates western culture now. We can video chat with loved ones across the world. Instead of snail mail, we can send correspondence with only the click of a button. It only takes a minute to heat up dinner in the microwave. Cars on the highway outstrip a horse and buggy. But I would venture a guess that even with all this saved time, we are busier than ever.
When it comes to to-do lists, I reign queen. I’ll put something on my list simply for the sheer pleasure of checking it off when I finish. And I have graduated from using my day planner to keep track of my lists and schedules to using computer software to remind me what I need to do. With all the time technology “saves” me, I can fit more and more into my schedule. BUT it’s getting harder and harder to obey that fourth commandment. You know the one…about honoring the Sabbath…
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
Not only did God make this a commandment, but He spent more words explaining it than any other commandment. As the inspired Word of God, one commandment doesn’t have more importance than another, but just maybe God wanted to make sure we didn’t skip over this one. Instead, He wants us to take it seriously.
God has taught me that anything He commands me to do is for my own benefit as well as for His glory. When He wrote this commandment, in His omniscience He already knew that humans need rest from work so we can live life to the fullest without becoming weary. When we take time in the presence of God to rest on the Sabbath, our souls are restored and our cups overflow (Psalm 23) for we have participated in holiness.
Let’s set aside the distractions of technology and to-do lists on the Sabbath. Let’s commune with God over our own “cups of tea,” basking in His holy presence.
Family Radio Staff