Q10: What does God require in the fourth and fifth commandments?
ANSWER: Fourth, that on the Sabbath day we spend time in public and private worship of God, rest from routine employment, serve the Lord and others, and so anticipate the eternal Sabbath. Fifth, that we love and honor our father and our mother, submitting to their godly discipline and direction.
Make no mistake about it--Americans are stressed out! There's an emerging cottage industry in books and articles reminding us of just how overbooked and overwhelmed we really are. Here in Alexandria, we consider it a badge of honor to work 70-hour weeks, sleep four or five hours a night and constantly check our smartphones so we don't miss the latest e-mail or text about whatever project we happen to be working on.
This seems to be a relatively recent phenomenon. Brigid Schulte, the author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, observes that "somewhere around the end of the 20th century, busyness became not just a way of life but a badge of honor. And life, sociologists say, became an exhausting everydayathon." It's gotten so bad that if we aren't actually busy, we'll come up with something to make us busy. As Rebecca Rosen of The Atlantic puts it, "we sometimes create busyness in order to conform to this social ideal, that to be worthy is to be busy." In other words, this extreme busyness has become central to our identity.
I think you can see where I'm going with this. The Fourth Commandment reminds us to "remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God." There is great wisdom in following God's commands. Perhaps it's time to revisit the biblical notion of keeping the Sabbath. It's almost as if our Creator is reminding us: "You need your rest. You need to devote time to Me. Let Me refresh and restore you. (although I suppose you can keep doing what you're doing. How's that working out for you?)."
Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.