#1. Avoid Taking on the Hurried Mantra. We have this crazy addiction to busyness and hustling in our culture; everything must be quantified, fit on to a to-do list or spreadsheet. I once saw a quote while perusing my Pinterest feed that simply read: "Stop the Glorification of Busy." I so wish we applied that to our lives. I'm so tired of hearing that people are busy when I ask them how they're doing. We're all kept busy in a huge variety of different ways.
I really think we suffer from trying to fit too much in a given day. Our body feels it, and others notice it too. We get impatient with the slow driver or irritated with the long line at the grocery store because they’re slowing us down. Hurry, rush, haste, urgency, success and productivity (to the insane level society has placed them) were not meant to be reflectors of our attitude and approach towards life. Yet even in the midst of it we still say that we're procrastinators. We feel like procrastinators because we're trying to do too much (usually). It's not so much about working more, but working smarter. Working smarter means being intentional with how we use our time.
#2. Savor the Gifts (aka Cultivate a Spirit of Thankfulness). At the risk of sounding like a Hallmark greeting card, many of us are so rushed that we fail to notice the hints of beauty all around us. We don’t stop to enjoy the flowers in front of us or the crimson-purple sky at sunset. We’re often too busy to stop and talk with a neighbor or take time to just breathe deeply. When we take time to marvel at all the wonders and gifts God brings into our lives we're practicing thankfulness. The hyper focus on accomplishing more instead of enjoying that which we're doing and who we're "doing life" with, leads us to miss out on the daily beauty reminders--but it's those very reminders that bring a richness to our lives. Thankful people are the most likely to be plagued with an attitude of hurry.
#3. Carve out Regular Time for Stillness and Play Alike. Our lives are just brimming with noise, thus we have to be intentional about creating pockets of just pure quietness. I'm part of a generation that's sorely lacks with the contemplative practices or disciplines of our faith. God tells us that our strength comes from quietness and rest, not from constant activity (Isaiah 30:15). Try it; you’ll be surprised how much more refreshed you feel. Along with that though, there's an element of play to Sabbathing well, and we need to pursue healthy outlets for that to occur. Just go out and do something fun. Sabbath is just as much about celebrating as it is about restful moments.
#4. Plan Personal Retreats. I know what some of you are thinking: "I can't afford to take myself on vacation for a retreat." Neither can I. (Being a college student sort of prevents such things from happening.) If you can afford to hop on a plane to the beach or drive out to a cabin in the woods, be my guest. Seriously, go for it! But if you can't go far, you can have what I call a stay-at-home retreat. Introverts tend to naturally pros at this. I would know, I'm an introvert.
#5. Turn Off the Electronics. Put them out of sight and away if they're going to be tempting or distracting. People will still assume you're alive if you're not check Facebook every hour.
#6. Spend Some Uninterrupted Time with God. Buy a big bag of coffee beans, and pull out your Bible and Journal for the weekend. Dig into God's word and pray.
#7. Make Sleep a Priority. It's actually really, really, really vital to your health. Next to proclaiming we're busy, we mutter we're tired just as frequently. Go. to. bed.
#8. Take Part in Community, and by that I mean plug yourself into a church where you can building relationships, pour into others, and let them pour into you. Fellowship with one another. Sabbath is a community effort, and I desire for there to be enough margin in my life that when brothers and sisters in Christ interrupt my tasks at hand, I can be there for them.
If you have any other ideas and suggestions I'd love to hear them in the comments, and if you're interested in digging deeper into the art of Sabbathing check out here.