In her book, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, Marva Dawn tells a story from the pioneer days about a wagon train traveling from St. Louis to Oregon. The members were devout Christians and followed the practice of observing the Sabbath and not traveling on Sundays. Winter was approaching and some feared they wouldn't arrive before bad weather. They recommended skipping their Sabbath practice and traveling seven days a week. The group divided over the issue, some traveling seven days and the other stopping on the Sundays.
Who arrived first? Oddly enough it was the Sabbath observers. It seems taking a day to rest benefited the horses and all the people. They were able to travel further in six days than the other group could in seven.
God designed us with a need for Sabbath. We get further in life when we take a day to cease (the meaning of the word Sabbath). This is why Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27) Obeying the Sabbath is not a religious legalism. It is key to health and well-being. The Sabbath is God's way of looking out for us.
We live in a Sabbathless world in many ways. Kids' sports and activities are no respecter of Sabbath. Neither is technology. Many folks feel the need to sleep with their phones so as not to miss a thing. Sundays for some people become a time to catch up on the work they didn't finish the other six. "What happens if I don't get this finished?" we ask. But like the wagon train, motoring right through the Sabbath doesn't get us where we want to be any faster.
I know, this is starting to sound preachy. Pardon me, professional habit. This Sunday we will consider this idea further. What I hope you will come away with is how important your well-being is to God. God wants you to be full of life. We were made to enjoy life not endure it. So keep your Sabbath Sunday. Plan to be in worship, and let's enjoy the first day of the rest of our lives.