Little Sabbath: A Reflection on Rest

It’s kind of like a short deep sleep. The kind where you wake up feeling like your body is in peace. A wakeful rest.

Opposed to this, however, the first half of Isaiah 49:4 regularly defines how I feel about life:

“In spite of my hard work, I feel as if I haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve used up all of my strength. It seems as if everything I’ve done is worthless.”

Life seems like a never ending fight. The finish line just as tangible as fog. I want more but I can’t grasp it. I can’t attain it. But I strive to. I run the race. I scratch at success.

There’s something I’ve found that contradicts all of that. Something pulls me out. Each morning there’s a moment. It’s defined by a discipline but it’s made up of a thing called grace. And there, a little bit each day, the verse I mentioned above is finished:

“But the Lord will give me what I should receive. My God will reward me.”

Do I practice this time with Jesus every single day? Nope. (I wish I did). Do I sometimes avoid it? Yes. Is it always amazing and delightful? Nope.

But there’s something hidden inside the little daily Sabbaths. Rest. A reminder that it’s not just my strength that’s not nearly sufficient, it’s not just my striving for success that’s undeniably inadequate. In fact, I actually have a strength that doesn’t come from me at all. And if I am weak, that strength never dissipates. In fact, success and failure were both demolished on my behalf by a helpless death followed by a triumphant resurrection.

In fact, the finish line is broken behind me. And, I find I was not the runner, but the cherished prize.

Jessica Fleck, New City Stories Guest Writer