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Since today is Labor Day and most of America is taking the day off, please enjoy the following thought!

For the first time in 31 years, I took a sabbatical. While I didn’t know what to fully expect, there was hope-filled anticipation that this would be a time of rest and renewal. It has exceeded my expectations!

One of the most powerful personal lessons I experienced had to do with realizing how easy it is to become “driven” to the point where:

  • You’re there (but you’re not really there)
  • You have not built adequate margins (physical, emotional, etc.) in your life
  • You’ll sacrifice the things most important in your life for things that are very temporal
  • Life flies by (not just days, but months!)

Nehemiah, returning to check on the progress of the Israelites became incensed that they had so quickly returned to life “as normal,” by working on the Sabbath… treating it like any other day. He declared, “This is what got you in trouble in the first place and caused you to be sent away to captivity!” Unbelievable! When God put it on His big list, you know… that (top ten) list, He wasn’t kidding. Even God took a Sabbath! And when He dictated the list to Moses (Exodus 20:3-17), He spent more time talking about it than anything else. He left no room for personal interpretation. In fact, He couples the terms “Holy” and “Sabbath”… on purpose!

Among the many, many things, I’ve learned during my sabbatical, one of the most important is that violating the Sabbath is not simply a physical, emotional or mental issue! It’s a spiritual issue, and at its genesis is a God who practiced and preached its benefits!

Learning late in life, but still learning and planning to honor the Sabbath principle!

“And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'” -Exodus 33:14 (NKJV)

By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor

served as the president of The Foursquare Church from 2009-2020.