I think it annoys God when you walk by the color purple in a field and you don’t notice it. ~Alice Walker
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success. ~Louisa May Alcott
In God's economy, to redeem time, you might just have to waste some. ~Mark Buchanan
Sabbath is a time for enjoyment, feasting, and partying.
Did you know that the Israelites had this awesome tradition where they'd work for six years, and then take the seventh year off. How freakin' awesome is that people?! I mean seriously?! Who wants to reinstate that? (ME!) The awesome year of party... the jubilee!
In chapter 23 of Leviticus, God lays out how Sabbath and all these festivals are supposed to work and play out. Now if this isn't proof that God is serious about us taking a day off, then I don't know what is:
And whoever does any work on that very day, that person I will destroy from among his people. You shall not do any work. It is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwelling places. ~Leviticus 23:30-31
Basically, God has just said, "Look, you better party, or I'm going to kill you. If you refuse to have fun, I'll take you out." Usually, you and I don't get called out on not partying. Celebrating is a mandatory part of being a Christian. And I'm all for that. God is getting on the workaholics case here. As mentioned before, God wants us to have the best possible life... the fullest life we can have here on earth, but there's a rhythm to it. There are days for work, but then there's a day for ceasing from our work. The Creator knows that you and I get tired. We get weary. We get stressed. He gives us a rhythm that takes this into account. He gives us a day to recharge, refresh, rejuvenate to take advantage of and enjoy, because when we don't... when we allow heaps of pressure from our work bear down upon us, we eventually break... we eventually burn-out... we become nasty, impatient, and irritated with our family and friends... and our physical health catches up as well. Statistically speaking, doctors see more patients suffering the side affects of stress more than anything else in a given year. People go to bed, but still wake up feeling exhausted... and that shouldn't be the norm. The norm should be work, work, work, work, work, work, rest and party, with moments of reflection and remembering every day of the week. If we're not partaking in the Sabbath, then I really think you and I need to repent. Repent, and then have fun. Lots of fun! So, where to start...
Feasting. Food is a passion of mine. I love to cook and bake. I love to cook and bake for other people. I start to drool the moment I walk into William Sonoma or Crate and Barrel. I buy dishes, flatware, and kitchen tools. I'm a Food Network fan; Giada and PW are my inspiration. So I understand the power and love of food. And while I don't have time to get into it a ton, feasting is often abused in our country. (Gluttony is a real, prevalent issue in our society. There's a healthy way to enjoy God amazing gift of food, but there's also a wrong way.)
Without a fast, it's hard to recognize a feast. ~Dorthy Bass
This may seem like a silly thing to think about, but do we eat any differently on Sunday? If we were sitting around and I randomly polled you as to what your favorite part of the Christmas season is, I'm willing to bet a few of you would talk about the Christmas dinners. Thanksgiving revolves around an enormous meal. But what makes it different is that we east dishes that we normally don't eat during the rest of the year. Sweet potatoes topped off with marshmallows doesn't show up on our family table normally. And Champagne (or sparking cider for the non-alcoholic drinkers) bottles are not popped open any old day, but we go for it on New Years. Why? Because these holidays are special, so we need special menus and drinks for special occasions. Sabbath is supposed to be that special day out of every week for us. So I'm voting for enjoying more time around the table with family and friends eating "special" dishes. Feasting with one another. To quote Martha Stewart, "It's a good thing."
And Choose Your Release Valves. Release valves are those activities that you love to do, you come away with a sense of refreshment or invigoration in the midst of doing them and afterwards. Once you know what those are, make some time for them. And it's going to be different for every single person. One person might really enjoy running, while another may want to refurbish furniture (strange, but for some that's a hobby). The point is play! Do something fun! And do something different from time to time... try new things.
So, in the comments below, share what your release valves are, or favorite feast-like food is =)