‘Remember the Sabbath day’ — if only

You’ll notice I take the sabbath off from here — though not really, and not because it’s the sabbath.

Most Sundays, I’m in the kitchen by 6 a.m., preparing breakfast for 20, 200 or however many guests we happen to have. I’m usually still around for lunch, and while most offseason groups have left before dinner, the cleanup effort usually takes us well into the afternoon. If I’m home by 4 p.m., that means I’m home 12 hours before I need to get up for my newspaper job.

No offense. The last thing I want to do is write, cook, think about writing or think about cooking.

It has nothing to do with the sabbath. It should. It’s something I struggle with.

God made his expectations pretty clear, dictating the Ten Commandments to Moses:

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. — Exodus 20:8-10

Slinging pancakes and dishing up apple crisp doesn’t sound like much of a sabbath. And since I work two jobs, there is no day of rest, short of personal and vacation days.

What do other chefs do?

While not at all confident I’m honoring God completely, I take some solace in knowing I work on the traditional sabbath so others don’t have to. A Christian youth leader will be far more successful in getting through to 100 young minds if he also doesn’t need to worry about who is going to feed them. I also find the time to rest and reflect other days, usually taking an afternoon or two off completely from the camp job — not even checking the mailbox or inbox — which brings a sense of restoration. Lately, they’ve been the days I’ve hidden in my kitchen office for an hour or so with my Bible or a devotional, for uninterrupted moments.

I came across this 13-year-old devotional today by Ira Krizo, who is a Christian conference center chef in Oregon and one of the founders of the online Christian Chefs Fellowship. It’s some very grounded writing that’s worth reflecting on if you’re in a similar position.

Spending time with God, not just on the Sabbath but in your everyday life, can be very closely related to tithes and offerings. Think about it. There are probably more people that give 10% of their gross income to benefit the work of God than there are people that take 10% of their time to devote to Him. And 10% of your WAKING time is only about twelve hours per week, being about 1 hour per day and five on Sunday. Don’t you think God would prefer for you to devote to Him 10% of the time that He’s given you in this world rather than 10% of your finances? Why is it that most of us don’t? I believe the answer is simple: because money, (although we work hard for it) is something that can be handed over and done so without consciously thinking that the finances from 10% of the time you’re at work is given up to Him. Time, on the other hand, is given with complete knowledge of where it’s going. Yes, it’s also commanded that finances should be given to God, but priorities in our daily lives NEED to be set straight, for if you belong to God you should be acting like it in all areas of your life.

In the end, it comes down to us all needing to ask ourselves these questions AND acting upon them: Am I really resting and reflecting on Sundays? If not Sunday, am I taking one full day to do this? If not, isn’t it about time I start? Now’s a better time than any other!

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