Friday, October 5, 2012

Not My Interests

My favorite things to do on Sunday:

  • Go to church

  • Watch baseball, the race or football with Wayne

  • Take a nap while watching baseball, the race or football with Wayne

  • Eat something fun that I wouldn’t eat during the week

When I’m willing to admit that my motivation for most of the things I do is my own pleasure, I have to ask myself if I’m keeping the Sabbath holy when I do those things. Probably going to church – especially on the days I really worship Him. But what about the others?

I'm not sure this passage helps; instead it confuses me. Enjoy the Sabbath but don’t pursue my own interests on that day. How can I enjoy it if I’m not pursuing my interests? That’s always been why I hoped that keeping the Sabbath was an Old Testament thing that I didn’t have to worry about. It would be legalistic to try to not do anything I like on Sunday and hypocritical to pretend I like it. But it’s neither legalistic nor hypocritical to keep the Sabbath. The answer to the dilemma is right there in the middle of the verse. 

Speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.

It’s God’s day. I love doing things for Wayne, even things I wouldn’t enjoy doing for myself. I clean and cook for him and I stand around Radio Shack and music stores while he ponders the delights of little wires and metal boxes with mysterious knobs on them. I even enjoy doing those things for him. My enjoyment is in Wayne, not the things I’m doing.

It’s the same with God. My joy is centered on Him, not on me and the things I'm doing. Joy doesn’t come from doing what I want. My delight in the Sabbath is that it’s His special day. 

I think it’s probably okay to watch sports and take naps on Sunday. But I love church because it's where His people gather. Last week the church had a dinner after services. I gladly missed part of the football game when we stayed to fellowship with God’s family. Next time the game is at night, I will gladly miss it so I can meet with the parents of teens group that Wayne and I lead. I gladly give up the things I like to do because being with God is even better.

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of Christian hedonism? It is the idea that God created us for his pleasure, and enjoying ourselves is a way to enjoy him too. And that gives him pleasure. That doesn't give us license to do whatever we want. When God created us, he knew what would give us the most pleasure, what would make us really happy. So he gave us the boundaries to live within that would make us really happy. Some people call these the ten commandments.
    For me, enjoying myself is on the sabbath is a way to honor it and please God. Being with him and his people is one way to enjoy myself, just as watching the game is (even if I don't enjoy football that much). So really you don't have to give up anything, just to choose between different pleasures. And God enjoys you as you enjoy the life he gives.