God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good … And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. – Genesis 1:31, 2:2 (NRSV)
What does it mean to you that everything God has made is “very good”? What do you think of all the work that God has done? Why do you think God rested from the work? Do you rest from your work, and if so why?
Last week, my family and I went down to the Florida coast to celebrate my birthday with my very good friend and his family. Before we left, I was a bit stressed out. There was so much to do, and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to do it. I was also concerned about driving six hours south to spend two nights and then drive six hours back. Would the trip be worth it? When would I have time to prepare a sermon? How would Langston (my 9 month old) handle being in a car for so long? What about that meeting I am going to miss … so many questions.
When we got down there, I felt better, and then I felt great. I stopped thinking about everything I “had” to do, and started to relax. The second night, we ate out at an open-air restaurant right on the beach. My wife and my friend were having a great conversation, and I found myself staring at the clouds over the ocean as the sun set behind us. The clouds were beautiful colors of oranges mixed with purples mixed with colors no human has yet named, and amazing shapes billowing for what seemed to be miles and miles into the sky. One group of clouds had lightning flashing in its midst far at sea, while below others I could tell that rain was falling into the ocean. It captured my attention with its majesty.
As I looked at the wonder all around me I noticed someone else who seemed to also be captured by it. I walked over to him and asked him what he saw when he looked at it all. He told me his wife is an artist and explained to me the lines that he saw in it, and how he wished she was there to paint it. Then he stopped talking for a moment and turned to me, “It’s beautiful, and I am just glad I am here to see it.” He was right, it was beautiful, and thanks be to God I took the rest I needed to enjoy it.
I am sure that God rested after it all just to take it in, to enjoy the very good universe that he created. Jesus was right when he said that the Sabbath was made for us humans. We experience things as worthless as stress and thereby fail to recognize that a very good creation surrounds us. It is time to take a break, to rest, to observe the Sabbath and just take in the creation that God could not help but sit back and enjoy. I know we will see beauty and miracle, and realize that we are blessed just to be here and witness it. God wants us to enjoy life, and there is so much to enjoy right here! Do you see it?