Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.
It’s Sabbath again. The week has finally ended and we get to rest once more. That is, if Sabbath has not become a time of regretful reflection or, even worse, a day of non-stop activity. But hopefully, it is just a beautiful day filled with God’s Word and Spirit.
I began telling you last week about how my Sabbaths changed since I started college. While I thought my spiritual life would consistently move upward in whatever scale there is to measure this journey, I found myself in a game of snakes and ladders landing on snakes every other turn.
The year started and I looked forward to listening to a new pastor in a new church and leading my own Sabbath school. Being away from my home church and the conservatism that to me felt like a hindrance to developing a personal relationship with Jesus, handed me a wonderful chance to grow.
If I remember correctly, the Sabbath school averaged about 10 people the first semester. I was really excited and woke up relatively early so I could be the first one there. At the beginning, people shared responsibilities. One lead in singing, another person would tell a missionary story, and maybe then I would lead in studying the quarterly.
Soon (perhaps by the end of the first semester), we were down to five regular members who came at different times, which made us begin about 20 or 30 minutes late. Leading the Sabbath school became a burden I did not want to carry any longer. But I would, if I had to, because after all, I liked being involved in a kind of ministry.
Attending the Friday night vespers put on by the students (or one student) from Campus Ministries I started to feel like I didn’t belong here. It’s not just that things were different, I had expected something else.
When I came to visit the campus and sat through their Friday night service, I thought they had found what I was looking for. It was a service where balanced had been achieved between liberal and conservatives, where it actually felt wrong to use either of those labels. Although it still was neither conservative nor liberal, it showed poor showmanship. Not that showmanship is good in a worship setting, but a poor one is even worse.
While many people shared my annoyance, many others enjoyed it just as much as I didn’t. So things continued the same way. In return, I started to get more and more frustrated each Friday witnessing how no one seemed to try anything different despite an inspection and overhaul being so obviously needed. Together with my Sabbath school dissatisfactions, Sabbath days became a time of spiritual frustrations.
During my first semester, I did not grow in my relationship with Jesus. But it also did not move backwards. However, my second semester of college suffered a huge regression in my Sabbath keeping and devotional life overall. I was still being obedient in actions but not in spirit.
I don’t want to blame anyone for this. It is not the fault of those organizing worships who do it with the best intentions. It is also not the fault of those who stopped coming to Sabbath school.
Although these are situations that need to be changed, it is my fault for letting these things get in the way of my personal relationship with Jesus.
I am learning, but things don’t get easier. It is a constant struggle to fix my eyes on Jesus and let him guide me.
Next week, I’ll continue looking back on how my Sabbaths have changed.
That is it for now.
Have a great week!