Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World by A.J. Swoboda
I confess, I find most theological books to be duller than dirt. I am delighted to report, however, that SUBVERSIVE SABBATH is the opposite. In fact, I found SUBVERSIVE SABBATH to be a delightful book—fun to read, inspiring, and practical.
Portland pastor and Professor A.J. Swoboda explains that Christians mistakenly think of the Sabbath as some drab requirement one must keep—and certainly not a day of fun. The author argues, however, that that view is not at all what the Scriptures teach. Instead, the Bible teaches that the Sabbath is for enjoyment and benefit. Above all, a Sabbath rest is a GIFT to us--something to savor and anticipate. The Sabbath is intended to be a day of rebuilding our body, mind and soul; it is a day of rejuvenation, not a day of dull rule-keeping.
The problem is, we are so busy, we can 't handle such a concept; we can't accept this gift without kicking and screaming:
“The Sabbath is a gift we do not know how to receive. In a world of doing, going, and producing, we have no use for a gift that invites us to stop.”
There are practical consequences to not having a sabbath. We suffer in many ways, the most obvious being our health:
“The truth is, if we do not rest, we will not be well. We might be fine for a while. But over the course of time, our bodies, minds, and souls will pay a hefty price for ignoring gravity.”
A difficult part of keeping a Sabbath is removing distractions, especially the electronic variety. We just can’t stand the idea of not being productive. The author shares his own Sabbath plan: To start, they turn off all their phones (except one for emergencies.) Their Sabbath is a joyous day, not a somber one. It is a fun, positive day, with zero thought about work.
The whole idea of a Sabbath is to not even THINK about work. So, if you have a desk job, your Sabbath may involve outdoor activities, such as hiking (yea!) The point is to redirect mind and body away from everyday tasks, and “Reconnect To Our Creator.” The author provides examples on ways to achieve this.
So all in all I found SUBVERSIVE SABBATH to be a WONDERFUL book, full of practical wisdom and ways to get started on your own Sabbath. I found the Professor's ideas to be practical as well as Biblical. I have a new perspective on the Sabbath after reading this book.
I thought this one passage nicely summed up this book:
“The Sabbath is an interval in which we can admire beauty around us, to take it in and enjoy it, appreciating the work God has done in the land."