Week 31 Monday

Busy, Busy, Busy

Today’s scripture selection: Leviticus 22-24

Key verses: Leviticus 23:3

Everybody’s so busy.  Or at least it seems that way.

I serve a small congregation, out in the country.  We’re near a city – but not a mammoth one.  It’s not L.A. or New York.  It’s Virginia – you know, the Blue Ridge Parkway; cattle crazing on the hillside; old time Southern hospitality offered at a snail’s pace – right?  Hardly.

Like the rest of the country; the rest of the world – the people in my congregation regularly share how “stressed” they feel and how much they have to do.  Even the seniors – the retirees – those who are supposed to be able to slow down and take it easy – they are busy running to this Dr. and that therapist or rushing to pick up the grandkids or…who knows what.

So, even in the country, Sabbath can be hard to find.

Of course – that’s the whole point.  You don’t find it.  You don’t stumble across it, if you are lucky, like finding a book or piece of jewelry you lost. You make it.

God told Moses to be sure and tell the people that.

Even in the wilderness – the desert of all places – where you’d think there would be plenty of time and plenty of space for communing with God – the people had to make a point of doing it.

Maybe it’s part of human nature; part of our natural instinct to survive.  I don’t know – I’ll leave that to the psychologists and anthropologists to figure out.

All I know is that God says it is important – critically important.  No matter who you are and what you have to do (or think you have to do) by a certain time, God calls you to spend Sabbath time with Him.

And you know what?  When you do…you find you have more energy; more peace; more ability to get things done after your “Sabbath” time is over.

Maybe God had it planned that way all along.

Prayer: Lord, may I make Sabbath a priority – now and every day.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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