8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."
(Exodus 20:8 New Living Translation)
God's reminder to us to keep a day as "holy" was for one reason - rest. He knows very well our tendency to cram as much of life into each and every day, leaving very little time for renewal of our peace, regeneration of our energies, and replenishing of our spiritual focus. This is leap year. We actually "get" one more day in this year to cram even more stuff into! Woohoo!
There are three things I think God planned in asking us to keep the Sabbath - one day a week out of seven - as holy. First, it takes the Creator of our bodies to understand the "stress points" of the body. He knows full well our "breaking points", as well. In asking us to keep one day as a day of rest, he is warning us of the risks of driving at full speed without any real "down-time". It wears on us and will not end well!
Second, whenever we are driving hard, it is easy to get caught up in the muddle of life - affecting our ability to make decisions, feeling the lack of peace muddle creates. There is much to be said about not moving on in a direction we may be pursuing until we have a confirmation of peace in our decisions. In fact, we are often "checked" in our spirit simply because we don't have peace. When God asks us to keep a day set aside for rest, he is "re-centering" us. Getting us to slow down long enough to actually hear from him is a challenge in this day and time, but it has not outlived its usefulness, my friends!
Last, but definitely not least, God asks for a day of rest to refocus on him. This is definitely more than just attending a church service somewhere, and then proudly "checking it off our list"! In fact, God's purpose in establishing the day of rest deals with holiness! He tells us to keep the day of rest because he is a holy God and in turn, he desires holy people.
How do we incorporate God's holiness into our lives? I think it is in times of rest where God can refocus us on him, revealing pieces of himself to us in the moments of grace which occur when we stop long enough to actually behold him! So, in looking at our fourth in a series of "commands" or "rules" for living, God asks for us to keep the day of rest - not for ourselves, but because of him! It is in the quieting of our busy days God speaks! Be quiet long enough, refocus a little, and you might be surprised by what you hear!