Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Marathon man! That's me when we're driving a long trip. I want to get there, and I like to drive, so we just keep barreling. Just ask my kids about when they were little. They knew we only stopped when the gas tank was nearly empty. They might say, "No, he wasn't marathon man. He was psycho man!" Well, I have to wonder if I would stop at all if the car didn't have to. You know, cars are like that. They just have to stop for refueling. Cars don't run forever. Neither do we.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Accelerators Without Brakes."
Our word for today from the Word of God is based on one of God's Ten Commandments, except Jesus is giving us some insight into the why behind the "thou shalt." It's in Mark 2:27. Jesus is being hassled by the religious legalists about His disciples picking some grain to eat on the Sabbath Day. He says, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is the Lord even of the Sabbath."
Jesus is, of course, referring to God's command to have a weekly sabbath - a day that is "for the Lord your God," according to the Ten Commandments. "On it you shall not do any work." (Exodus 20:10) Now, I know some Christians debate which day should be the Sabbath; please don't send me letters and booklets and verses about that - a lot of folks already have! What I'm talking about here is the Sabbath principle - that God has built into our creation a regular time for rest, for recovery, for spiritual renewal. In fact, it is important enough that God made it the focus of one of His Ten Commandments!
And Jesus said God did that, not to create some inconvenient divine demand. He did it for us! "The Sabbath is for man," He says. This isn't about a rule for us to keep, just to keep a rule. It's for our good! For our sanity, for our health, our well-being, our balance. When we ignore our sabbaths, we hurt ourselves!
You might say God built us like cars - we need regular refueling. We need to stop fairly regularly. When we don't, we run out of gas. And it's true. When you continually abbreviate your sabbath or postpone your sabbath or cancel your sabbath, you start to become more mean, mechanical, short-tempered, stressed out. Your creativity starts to dry up - your health starts to go down. We just weren't created to drive without stopping.
But a lot of us hard drivers are all accelerator and no brakes. Now, a car like that is dangerous. So is a person. You've got to have both. And if you don't take regular time-outs as God has ordained, well, you're eventually going to crash. If you don't get your sabbaths, one day all those sabbaths are going to get you. To take that weekly time-out is actually a step of faith that God will enable you to do more with six days than you ever could do with seven. And He will.
Maybe you've been running too hard for too long, and a lot of things aren't working. You don't need more time. You need a rested, restored you with the renewed perspective that only time off and time with God can give you. So give yourself a rest, and your family, those who work with you, and those who are influenced by you.
You were built for regular refueling. Make it part of your schedule - part of your life. You'll be able to cover a lot more miles - with a lot better attitude.