Let’s continue our journey through the Commandments. This week we rest. It is an acquired trait, not something we are comfortable with. We have been led to think that if we stop and rest we are weak. We need to keep moving, keep striving to better ourselves. I don’t think that is what God had in mind. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Listening to the stories and reading the biographies of the characters that make up the racing community I have come to the conclusion that resting is not a high priority. I recently read; “It involved many years of little or no sleep” as a racer shared the history of his racing endeavors. I think racers are some of the best jugglers in the world, they keep more balls in the air than any circus act I can think of. It can be hard enough to balance family and career but throw in a little racing and things get pretty busy.
Some people’s hobbies don’t involve the time commitment that racing does, some actually create an environment that helps us rest and relax, get away from it all. I think of sail boating, motorcycle riding, hiking, sitting on the beach, or maybe just a walk in the park. Do you know what I think when I see someone asleep in a chair or lying on the tire ramp of a race trailer? You have to be pretty tired to be able to sleep in the midst of all this noise and activity.
Rest is not optional, it is mandatory. We fool ourselves into thinking we can get by, just push a little harder, we can get through this. I know I’ve been there. Not that I have the longest streak out there, but I’ve gone 40 hours without sleep, up at six for race day, headed home for the 10+ hour ride at the checkered flag, arriving home, did some chores, cleaned up, unpacked, repacked, then back in the car for another six hours to reunite with my family on vacation. After a certain number of hours it becomes a blur, you just keep moving because you know if you stop you’ll crash. Rest will come, one way or another.
God created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. He created us with a need to rest. He instituted it in Creation; He created the world in six days and on the seventh day he rested.
Genesis 1:31-2:3; NLT; Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day. So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
The fourth commandment reminds us;
Exodus 20:8-11; NLT; “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
The Sabbath day has been a point of contention almost from the time Moses wrote it down. The Jewish nation surrounded it by all kinds of laws and restrictions, what you can do and can’t do. They accused Jesus of violating the Sabbath day. Obviously Jesus understood the true meaning of the day.
Mark 2:27; NLT; Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.
Funny thing happened while I was down in Florida a few weeks ago. I came out of a meeting to find a man sitting in his truck parked next to the pace car. I knew he had something he wanted to discuss. This isn’t the first I’ve had this happen. He stepped out as I approached and asked if I was minister. I replied yes and then he asked what my view of the Sabbath was. He really didn’t want my view, he wanted to tell me what he thought and why everyone else was wrong. I listened and nodded. I have come to learn that some discussions are not worth the debate, he wasn’t questioning me to gain understanding; he was telling me I had to agree with him. No worries, after about fifteen minutes I got a word in, said I would take his views under consideration and made my way to my next meeting. Here is why I didn’t engage him.
The entire passage is Romans 14, I encourage you to open your Bible and take a look. If you don’t have one, let us know and we will get you one.
Romans 14:1, 5-9, 12-13; NLT; Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong…
…In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him…  For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves.  If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead…
…Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.  So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

So what is the Sabbath day and how do we keep it holy? Let’s see what we can summarize.
First, we need rest, we cannot ignore that and think somehow we are special and can go without it. I’m not talking about sleep, I am talking about rest. We need to break away from the routine and rest.
Second, we need it more often than we think, not once or twice a year, but once every six days, six days are to work and the seventh is to rest.
Third, this is for our own wellbeing. The day of rest was instituted by God for our sake, not His.
Fourth, the day isn’t as important as the motive behind it. The day is to acknowledge God, His creation and our enjoyment of it.
The world we live in has made it difficult to maintain the Sabbath. We have moved away from everything being closed on Sunday except some places of convenience. We think we are the better for it, but we are not. I encourage you to make time for God, time to acknowledge Him and rest in what he has created for us to enjoy. We need to do our best not to require others to serve us on that day but to serve others as the Lord serves us. It will take practice, it goes against what we have been told is right, but we are wired in such a way as to thrive when we remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. There will be exceptions and things that come up, but they should be just that, exceptions not the norm.
I also caution you not to use your “Sabbath” as a badge and use it to tell others how great you are compared to those who don’t practice one. Instead, come alongside them and show them an example of how much better life is when we honor God.
Rules to live by, we will keep exploring them further. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.