What If We Hit Pause?

It’s Friday. The weekend is upon us. For many Americans it’s the day they live for beginning sometime early Sunday evening.  Work and school will pause for a couple of days, and they can do whatever it is they want to do.

Where did this longing for Friday evening come from, anyway? It’s something that seems built into our DNA. Maybe it is.

A spiritual dance will be performed in millions of homes this evening. The worries of the world will be set aside – they’ll be there on Sunday morning. It’s okay to ignore them for a day or so. Families will gather around a dinner table, light candles, say prayers, bless children, study Scripture. This weekly ritual is a way to reboot our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical hard drives.

Some people mistakenly think that this is a rule that God imposed on the Jews and that it is a burden upon them.  They think that not working for a day and spending time in peaceful relationship with God and each other is some sort of curse or something.

Yeah, I know. Crazy.

For about thirty years, Christianity has bemoaned the reality that the traditional family model is collapsing. Families don’t spend time together. Families don’t even eat dinner together anymore. No wonder families don’t hold up when struggles and challenges assault them; they don’t even know each other.

Christian leaders have also learned that church-attending youth are leaving the faith of their fathers and mothers as soon they land on the college campus. For some reason, we’ve relegated the spiritual development of our children to paid professionals who spend a couple hours with them each week.

What’s scary is that sometimes these paid professionals spend more time with our children than we do.

I wonder what would happen if we took a cue from our Jewish ancestors and hit the pause button at least once a week? Eat a meal together. Turn off the TV. Talk with each other about the Bible for a few minutes. Ask our kids what’s going on in their world. What they’re learning about God and how to honor Him.

How much closer would our families be if we spent time reading the Bible together at least once a week?

This isn’t rocket science; not a new revelation. While it sometimes seems like we think we know better about our lives than God does, it’s important to remember that He created us and knows us best. He didn’t rest on the seventh day because He was tired. He was setting an example for us. Then He put it in his Top 10 List.  It must be pretty important.

Families will be stronger when we spend time together. But the more I think about it, more than just our families will be strengthened by this practice.

Hitting pause once a week will make our relationship with the Father stronger.

Shabbat shalom.

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