Father Knows Best

Nancy Hatcher, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | January 8, 2024

“Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.” Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” 
Exodus 20: 8-11

My dad, Bob, grew up in the Great Depression and loved to work but when Sundays rolled around, he rested because God told us to do so in the fourth Commandment. 

Because of my dad’s commitment, I anticipated Sundays: the smooth wooden pews, the choir, and our beloved pastor’s talk. Grandma arrived after church, and we feasted on roast and mashed potatoes. After dinner, Dad unrolled and devoured the Tribune, handing the parts he finished to our mom to enjoy. My sisters and I played outside or in our rooms until mom called us to a simple suppertime meal. After, the best part of Sunday happened; we cozied up on the couch together and watched The Wonderful World of Disney.

Ahhh, Sundays at my house—scrumptious and oh sooo good! This kind of Sabbath that I grew up with came to a screeching halt when, as an adult, my job and our family challenged my best-laid plans. We rushed to the early service at church. We hurried to grade essays in the afternoon. We zoomed off to our small group by 7 p.m. 

I spent the second half of my life breathless, ignoring the rest part of God’s command; it could have been so different. For me, lesson planning and grading should have happened on other days; I could have been more strategic.

Our hard-working God, the maker of our planet and universe, worked for six days and rested on the seventh. He is our ultimate example and modeled it for us as He rested and enjoyed what He had created. 

God clearly tells us in scripture to ‘remember the Sabbath and keep it holy’ Exodus 20:8. He shares this guideline to live by for our good. 

In Obedience is the Key To All Doors, C.S. Lewis writes, “Do we need to obey? Yes. If we desire an abundant life in Christ, the answer is yes.”

Keeping the Sabbath brings freedom and rest. This renewal is transformative. It welcomes joy and a fresh sense of purpose.  It clears our minds of anxious thoughts. Obedience leads to goodness that overflows to the next generation and subsequent generations.  

Next Steps

  • Examine your work rhythm. What day works best for a Sabbath? In today’s world, we might consider spreading the day incrementally throughout the week.
  • Don’t begin your Sabbath plan with what you want to give up; start with how you feel God wants you to be rejuvenated.
  • Keep it relational with God and your community.
  • Check out this great book!