By Dr. Michael Layne
---- — Exodus 34: 21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
As a child, I remember when Sunday rolled around.
It was church, then usually back home to a fried chicken dinner complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and for dessert, it was usually a homemade yellow cake along with strawberry Jell-O.
If you have met me in person, then you know I was not starved as a child. My grandmother was a good cook and Aunt Nettie didn’t help matters much with her homemade chicken and dumplings. Oh my!
Times were much simpler then. There were no stores open on Sunday. No “big box” stores to go hang out at on a Sunday afternoon because Penney’s, Sears and Montgomery Ward were closed on Sunday.
I do remember many businesses had a sticker on the door that said; “We are closed on Sundays. Attend the church of your choice.” That’s one you don’t see these days either.
Yes, Sundays were different then than now yet, God has not changed His mind about keeping a Sabbath. It seems logical to me that with the six days we are given to take care of business that keeping one day out of seven just seems right. We really need to refresh ourselves and, get a fresh breath of air so to speak.
I know, with our work schedules these days it seems that taking one day off for rest is almost impossible. I worked in law enforcement for years and I did not always have Sunday off but, on one of the days I did have off, I made sure I was taking time to refresh and recharge myself.
In the pastoral ministry, we work on Sundays to help lead worship and give guidance through the messages we preach so, it’s important to take off another day of the week for purposes of rest.
I know this message may not be received well by the overachiever, but everyone needs time for relaxation and changing their pattern of life for at least one day out of the week. If you have a job that permits you to be off on Sundays, consider attending a church of your choice. I believe it is at the church where we can spend at least that one hour of centering on Him and not the rigors of work. To be sure, God wants us to be good workers but, He also wants us to be good worshippers of Him.
Just as it is important to rotate crops in the field and, even give the soil time to recharge so it is important for humans to change their pace and take a rest from the rigors of life.
I don’t know if the farmers practice letting their land go without crops every so often or not but, I do remember some of the farmers I knew in Ohio did. They said it didn’t wear out the soil that way. Agriculture may have come up with a different way of doing such things since those days of my youth.
The point is, get some rest. Change your pattern in life so that you can recharge your inner self with in turn changes you physically as well.
It’s always best to follow a plan the Lord has developed for us. Give it a try sometime. Attend the church of your choice this weekend. One day out of seven really isn’t too much for some needed down time.
The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, can be reached at 812-614-2160 or www,doclayne.com Wednesday night Bible study resumes this Wednesday, weather cooperating, at 6:30 p.m. meeting at The Fine Grind, 120 E. Washington St, Greensburg.