The Lost Art of Loafing

I used to love to read the newspaper.  I still read the “news”, but it’s not the same.  These days I read the news on a “tablet”.  That concept has changed, too.  Remember when a “tablet” was a pad of lined paper?  These days a “tablet” is an electronic device and the “news” is delivered, not on newsprint, but digitally.  And that concept has changed, as well!  Remember the days when a “digit” was simply a numeral between 0 and 9?  My, how things have changed!  Doesn’t it make you just hanker for the good ol’ days?  The smell of newsprint and ink.  The feel of a paper tablet and a freshly sharpened pencil.  Aaahh . . . !

But to the point, I used to love to read the newspaper.  It all began when I got my first official job as a paperboy delivering the Rockford Star – the morning edition.  Each morning, I would arise before my family, fold and band the papers, and set out on my red, three-speed bicycle to deliver the papers before 7 a.m.  And each morning, I found myself thumbing through the paper. 

One Sunday morning, I ran across an article titled “The Lost Art of Loafing.”  The author was recalling the good ol’ days when folks would spend hours just kicking back and letting time go by.  He called to mind the days when folks would play checkers at the general store or sit on the porch with neighbors drinking iced tea.  He painted a picture of days-gone-by when families or friends would share stories beside a fire or sing tunes to the strumming of a guitar.  I don’t know if those days ever truly existed but, I have to admit, they sound wonderful!  Even as a young boy, I remember the feeling of nostalgia as I read that opinion column . . . yearning for those good ol’ days that I couldn’t recall.  Even then, I hankered for restful times and a close community.

To be honest, I’m not sure those days ever truly existed.  Oh, there may have been times of loafing.  But never have I known a time when loafing was a way of life.  Life has always been filled with chores to do, places to go, things to get done, a living to be made.  But the point of the article was the basic human need for rest and the necessity of community.

The need for rest.  The necessity of community. 

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy….”  (Genesis 2:2-3) 

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.’”  (Genesis 2:18)

Rest and community are part of God’s perfectly created design, and we need them!  God made us that way!  No wonder He included that perfect design in His commandments when He said, “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.”  God’s perfect design and His loving desire for us is to set apart a day for rest and community!

That’s what Sabbath is all about . . . coming together as God’s people and hanging out with our Creator and with each other.  It’s a time to kick back and enjoy the company of our God who loves us and simply enjoy His company together!  It’s a time to hang out with friends, to hear our Daddy tell stories of His love, His plans, and His promises. There’s music and a house filled with noise.  There’s laughter and, at times, a few tears.  There’s a meal, offered and hosted by our friend Jesus, Himself.  And there’s rest.  Perfect rest, surrounded by our Master, our friends . . . and love! 

Doesn’t that sound wonderful after a long week of work and busyness?  Well, then . . . why don’t we get together soon and do a bit of loafing!

How about this Sunday?  We’re meeting at God’s place!  And you’re invited!!

Pastor Tim

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