2900 County Barn Rd. Naples, Fl. 34112

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The idea of Sabbath has its roots in the Book of Exodus.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11)

 

Sabbath rest was observed more regularly on Sundays in the past. The day was set aside for church, family and no work. I had the opportunity to travel to American Samoa in 2010 and the practice is still in effect. Stores were closed and people focused on church, family and rest. As a child our Sundays were spent in church in the morning, and family time the rest of the day.

 

Sabbatical time is an extension of the day of rest. It is a time of rest from work. It is still prevalent in educational settings and church settings. Sabbatical time or Sabbath time take a variety of forms but even in an informal way humans need to rest whether it is one day or an extended time away from work. It is part of healthy living.

 

I begin a sabbatical on June 1 for two and half months. It is time away from work, a time to refocus rest and enjoy life. There are a number of things I have on my ‘to do’ list during the time but I have been warned not to overdo it and live at a slower more relaxed pace.

 

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to have an extended time away from work so I look forward to it but also wonder how will it be for me? I enjoy being busy and at times find the relaxing part of life hard as well as not having to go to work on a daily basis. Many of those around me know what this is like in retirement, but this is a short time of rest and refreshment. What will happen on my return? Stay tuned.

Those two words are important to our health and well-being.  Yet a lot of times we neglect them.  In our fast paced society we don’t take time to rest.  The desire to do more, be active is a symbol and symptom of our society.  We do not take enough time to rest even though Jesus tells us to.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  If you notice he is actually not saying rest but where to find rest.  We find our rest in him.  Which leads us to, how do we find rest in Jesus?  The best way is to set aside some time in the day to sit in prayer and meditate on God.  The first thought to this idea may be, “I don’t have the time!”  That, my friend, is the very problem.  We think we have to always be doing something.  We are not called human doings, we are called human beings.  To be with Christ is to find rest in his presence.  Rest and pray.  Three simple words that we can incorporate into our lives on a daily basis to become more healthy, more compassionate, more loving and more like Christ.

All we have is today.  Let’s make the best of it.  One scripture verse that has this theme is, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Most of the time we think all is well.  Depending on the day we seem to either worry or look forward to the tomorrows we take for granted.

We got word over the weekend of a colleague who was in an automobile accident.  Her husband died as a result of that accident the following day.  For those of us in this denomination in Florida, it has shocked us.  It is one of those events that cause us to think that we may not have tomorrow.  By the grace of God we are given one day and it is today.  AA and other twelve step programs use the slogan, ‘one day at a time.’  If that person makes it through the day without picking up a drink or drug, it is a great day. 

Let us live for today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.  Today is a great day!

Much has been said recently about privilege, especially white privilege.  As a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant heterosexual male I fit the stereotype of one who has the opportunity to experience that privilege.  I don’t get the looks in stores or other places I go that some people of color have experienced in their lives.  People like me can go blindly through life not realizing how privileged we are or we can be aware of it and act accordingly.  I have also been in a country where I experienced for a brief time what it is like to not speak the language and look different than everyone else.  It helped me to understand what any immigrant group or group that is not Anglo face as they try to live in these United States.

People that look different are often singled out as a threat of one form or another.  It is not only a problem in this country today but is a problem of humanity.  It seems that someone always has to be on top of the hill.  That means that another group is below them.

Jesus however teaches us differently.  As the Gospel stories tell us he often sought out the marginalized of his society, much to the anger of those in power.  If we call ourselves Christians, then we should look on anyone as a treasured child of God, no different than ourselves.  It is that simple.

I was returning from a trip on a plane recently and the two other people in the row were engaged most of the trip in a conversation about people they knew in the town were from even though they had not met prior to getting on the plane and their current occupations.

One of them was a younger woman who described herself as a life coach.  Mind you I was just overhearing the conversation, trying to read a book.  It got me thinking about what a life coach might offer to people to make their lives better.

You can already see where I am going with this.  Christians have the ultimate life coach and perhaps the only life coach that is really necessary.  I do not mean to discount therapists and counselors who help people reach into themselves to understand their lives and where they are on life’s journey.  Most people reach out for help when things are not going well in their lives.  Whatever the circumstances may be, the person realizes things are not well and something (the person) needs to change.

That is where a therapist, counselor, life coach may be able to aid a person in the search for peace and serenity in life.  They may offer ways out of the storms of life.  Ultimately a person who takes on this search for a better life, for meaning and clarification, for peace and serenity in life finds themselves in the presence of Jesus.  A reading of Psalms, Proverbs and the New Testament will give anyone a different outlook on their own life and make them realize that they are not alone, people have suffered the same things over time and there is hope in Jesus.    

Why not try Jesus as your life coach?

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MAYFLOWER CONGREGATIONAL UCC

2900 County Barn Rd 
Naples, Florida 34112

Office Hours: 
8:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri.

Sunday Worship 9:30
            Refreshments 10:30

Church Phone: 239-775-0055
Fax Number: 239-775-3253

Pastor Alan's Cell: 239-227-8500

office@mayflowernaples.com
pastor@mayflowernaples.com

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