So we are practicing Sabbath, with about the same agility of a toddler taking first steps into his father’s arms. Five minutes a day to just stop where we are and block out the noise, say no to the distractions and whisper “Come, Lord Jesus.” Some days it’s harder than others. Some days it feels like I am the blind beggar sitting outside Jericho by the side of the road, calling out through the commotion “Jesus…have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) That’s about as much sense as I can muster in those few minutes, with too many things swirling around in my head. Kyrie eleison…Lord, have mercy…Christ, have mercy…one of the oldest prayers of the church, and the one that is always appropriate for us.
And sometimes the question comes in the quiet: “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51) It’s the best part of the beggar’s story. As if the Lord of heaven and earth doesn’t know, or doesn’t have the right to make an executive decision for the man. “What do you want Me to do for you?” Because Jesus really wants to hear it in the beggar’s own words. I’ve begun to take a timid attempt to verbalize what I want Jesus to do for me– both because it’s quicker (given the five minute time slot), and because it shocks me to realize how difficult this is for me. Like maybe somewhere inside I don’t feel convinced of His interest in me, or worthy of His favor? The question helps me focus, though, cuts through the emotions and thoughts about the issue and gets right to the center of it, to my dependence on Jesus and my need for what only He can supply. Healing, strength, forgiveness, grace, perseverance, love, peace, the Breath of the Spirit– this is my daily Bread, and I am a beggar at His feet.
A few other helpful questions this week to focus my thoughts more quickly on Jesus and His work in me: “What are you missing because you are too busy to notice? What is shame convincing you to believe that isn’t true? Where is God in your lack, pain, and difficulty? What path is He asking you to walk with Him?” (Shelly Miller, Sabbath Society)
This five minutes of Sabbath rest may be the most important of the one thousand four hundred and forty you will receive today. Just do it, and don’t be surprised if it stretches longer. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” (John 15:9-10)
“Here’s my heart, Lord;
Speak what is true,
Cause I am found,
I am Yours,
I am loved…“
(Here’s My Heart, Lauren Daigle)