Christian Minimalism

Sabbath on the Seas

“I gave them my sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, so that they might know that I the Lord sanctify them.” (Ezekiel 20:12)

I’m terrible at rest. Like, really, really bad. I know that God instituted the sabbath for a reason. I know that Jesus took time out of his ministry to be alone and to pray. I know all this logically.

But for some reason, a voice in my head tells me that I have to KEEP DOING THINGS to be worth something in this world.

This is being particularly tested right now, as I sit on a cruise ship balcony looking at the water with this laptop on my lap. This cruise across the Atlantic has 8 seas days, and it has really tested my ability to take sabbath time.

Before we left for the trip, I relished the idea of 8 full days to read, relax, and pray. What ended up happening is a string of days full of guilt, checking my work email, and forcing myself not to reply to any emails until I returned to the States.

I know that I’m not the only one who has issues taking sabbath time. The Puritan work ethic that still permeates American culture pushes us to work constantly, and the ubiquitous smart phone/tablet/laptop only exacerbates the problem.

The weird part is that we are so used to this societal push that we internalize this drive, this need to keep working. Then we feel guilty when we do take some rest time, feeling like are we only worth what we produce.

Here’s the thing. If even GOD had to take a rest day after creating the world, don’t we as humans have to take some sabbath time too? I mean real sabbath time, not binge-watching Netflix in the background while checking work email.

God made the sabbath for us, so that we could better serve God and serve others– so that we could be sanctified and set apart and prepared for life in Jesus Christ. We were not created by God to constantly work. We were created by God to work and rest.

How is God calling you to be more intentional about taking sabbath time?



Becca Ehrlich, AKA The Christian Minimalist, is striving to be a Christian minimalist in a consumer society. She currently lives in Upstate New York with her husband Will and their son Theo. You can read more about her story and how her blog came to exist by clicking the website link above.


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