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Parish Nurse Article, December 2016

In Body and Spirit…
A message from the Parish Nurse

I’m sure many of you remember the Bible verse from Exodus 20:8 which reads, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” It is also one of the Ten Commandments. Many of us can repeat this verse from memory in our favorite translation. It is also repeated in Deuteronomy 5:12, “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.”

There is no doubt that keeping the Sabbath is something that we should be doing. But why? Some of us are old enough to remember when nothing much happened on Sundays in observance of this commandment. An understanding of the Sabbath is as essential to health as it has ever been. This day extends to all people, who need an opportunity to withdraw from work and just rest! It may even be a different day of the week for us.

The concept of setting aside significant chunks of time for no other purpose than rest of body and spirit produces benefits that medical science can track as well. Good quality of rest pays benefits in better memory, healthy immune system, relief of depression and stress, improved energy, and other medical issues as well. Getting enough sleep matters, but having some down time matters also. Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than merely increasing its speed.”

Happiness grows best in the sweet soil of time. As our time is eaten away by speed and overwork, we are less available to be surprised by joy, a sunset, a kind word, an unplanned game with a child, a warm loaf of bread in the oven, and many other things we may miss. When our happiness fails to appear, when we are tired and weary, we turn to the other ways for help; something more easily acquired, more conveniently bought, and thus we are offered only temporary satisfaction. Temporary is ultimately unsatisfying.

The more hurried and rushed we are, the more we are willing to trade happiness for desire, and over time, the less we are able to discern the difference between the two. We all need to stop and pray and sing and walk and read and REST. In Matthew 11:28, we read “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

If we could try, and thus we will accomplish having a Sabbath in our lives, we will hear a voice that encourages us to be quiet, listen to God, and wait for what He has to say to us. We have strong wills to do just that, to listen quietly for Him to speak to us. This way, we will be able to have relief and rest for our busy lives.

Have a beautiful Advent and Christmas season, and we pray for each of you to experience a season of calm and Sabbath in your lives all year long!

If you would like to contact a parish nurse, please call the church office, or email them at parish.nurse@graceofav.org.

Peace and good health to all of you!
Lois Askvig and Amy Fleser
Grace Lutheran Parish Nurses

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