Sabbath Days (part one)

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.

Deuteronomy 5:12

Last week, I traveled back to Lincoln, Nebraska. While I was in the plane, I wrote about how worried and tired I am. It was a Sabbath, a stop day. Yet, I couldn’t stop the fears of failure. I worried and worried about the future. I also mentioned that Jesus gives me a Sabbath. He wants me to surrender my life, including all this burdens I’ve been carrying. I’m supposed to let go and take his yoke.

While last week’s post was about the Sabbath, I only tried to show how Jesus gives me a time when I can stop worrying. This time, I want to reflect on what I do with that time God has set apart, the Sabbath day.

Since I left home for college in June 2012, my Sabbaths have changed quite a lot —sometimes for the better and many other times for the worse.

When I moved into the dorm, I realized there was no one who would wake me up Saturday morning to put on my  Sabbath attire and sit on a pew in the church across the street. Moreover, once in my room, I would do whatever I want. I could break as many “Sabbath rules” as I wanted.

With my newfound freedom, I decided I would attend church and keep the Sabbath because I wanted to. Pretty boring? Hey, with more freedom comes more responsibility (thanks, Uncle Ben!) and I wasn’t going to betray my principles just because I could.

The thing is: my Sabbaths did change.

I came to Union College excited about being in a Seventh-day Adventist school. I had felt God leading me to this place against my will a couple months before, but over the summer I learned to accept and even enjoy God’s plan. In this new school, I felt my spiritual life could blossom.

The church across the street looked so big in comparison to my home church in Mexicali I was scared. When your church is small, you get involved in everything. Here, I probably would just sit and listen because I was, and still am, too scared of being up in front in a church that size.

Even though the college only has about 800 or 900 students, I had never been in a community sharing a block with so many people. I did not want to rise as a leader, but I did want to have a smaller group I could be part of so I started a Sabbath school in Spanish. This, I thought, would help me study the Bible consistently and hold me accountable in my devotional life as I lead this small group.

Before the school year actually started, I judged that year would change my life spiritually. With great music and a new worship service structure and a small Sabbath school I did not expect the many spiritual struggles I experienced that year.


More on that later.

Today, I’ve had a blessed Sabbath. I took Jesus’ yoke because it is easy and his burden is light.

Shabbat shalom.

Sabbath

I am flying back to Nebraska today. In fact, I write this as I fly to Minneapolis. It is sad to leave home, but at least I’m almost done with college. Life is uncertain, though. I don’t really know if I’ll go home after I graduate or what I would do there.

Last night, I thought about that while I had coffee with my mom. It was our last time hanging out before I had to go back to Lincoln. We talked about my siblings, taxes, and my life after college. Lately, I avoid talking about grad school or whatever else has to do with being an adult. Well, I’m actually okay talking about it as long as I don’t have to talk about me. The thing is: I really wish I knew what I need to do.

I can’t even write about this. And I won’t.

While I hope I can soon figure out what I will do after college, I need to remember Jesus’ words:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”‭ (Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ).

Jesus offers me a Sabbath rest.

Jesus doesn’t want me to worry. He’ll take care of me. I must remember that. Whenever I forget it, uncertainty overwhelms me. It’s a burden I don’t need to carry.

Jesus gives me rest.

Shabbat Shalom.