Monday, January 25, 2010

Sabbath Violations in the News

Early last year our congregation journeyed through the Ten Commandments, as we listened to the rich depth behind each of those rules for living. We heard how living faithfully in marriage reflects the nature of the unity of God, and how carrying the Holy Name of God well is about so much more than not swearing.

One of the most revolutionary teachings from that series was about taking Sabbath. It had a lot to do with the experiences of the Israelites under Egyptian oppression, who were seen as only cogs in a manufacturing system – they were valued only for their ability to work. This led them to grow accustomed to measuring themselves by production, which goes completely against the truths about our Creation from Genesis. We are not God. The world does not stop if we rest for a day. Sabbath is about the health of our souls.

All of this brings us to a story from this weekend’s news cycle. It comes out of Gainesville, Florida, where one of the great college football coaches of our time has been wrestling with some decisions about his health, his family, and his coaching career.

In December, Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators, revealed he had long battled heart trouble and made plans to retire for the sake of his family and his heath. He had been admitted to the hospital for a heart episode earlier that month and it was not his first. But, within a day of that first statement he had reduced it to taking maybe a year off after they finished playing in the bowl game that week.

Well over the weekend Urban Meyer made this statement,

“I keep hearing about this time off, and the people I'm closest to are going to demand I take some time off, but I tried that already,” Meyer said. “I tried a day and a half, and it didn't work.”

Were you able to read between the lines with me? His wife and kids are apparently grouped with players, assistant coaches, bosses, and maybe even prominent boosters, who all will demand for something but the best he can do is try it for 36 hours. Seriously? Meyer is smart, and a follower of Jesus, but does he think giving 36 hours to a lifestyle that is so totally foreign to our modern culture stands any chance? Has he lost touch so significantly with the few people in his life that knew him before he was a success on the sidelines to forget that their biggest concern has nothing to do with Wins and Losses?

My prayer is that he would revisit this decision. My prayer is that he would know again the truth that no amount of success, no internal drive, no deadlines, no media coverage is more important than living the life God designed for us. All of those things can come, but not at the expense of the health of your body and your soul.

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