I so enjoy the Sabbath! I can’t wait for tomorrow! It is a glorious opportunity to change the pace of the work I do. It is an opportunity to contemplate the week and make sense out of all the experiences, lessons, interactions, and successes of the week. It is a busy day. In some ways, far busier than a regular week day, but the mood is different. I can truly focus on the Savior and on changing my will to the Father’s will. This week has been a long drama filled week. I need a Sabbath change of pace.
So many people need His rest.
Today I realized that the invitation is from both the Father and the Son. God’s desires and purpose is to save, to rescue, and to relieve. After all, he has declared that, “… this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39). He, or rather they, will relieve me of my heavy burdens. They will take on the hard thing of those I love.
His rest is not merely a pause from work, for his work is eternal, and it will always require effort. I’ve come to further understand that this applies to all aspects of my life. I will always need to work at understanding gospel principles. I will always be working to better myself. I will always need to work at seeking Him and His peace in my heart. I will always be working toward a healthier me. However, by coming to the Lord the work will not be burdensome or painful or uncomfortable. I can learn to enjoy exercise by turning to the Lord for help. I can learn to enjoy all healthy choice by taking refuge in the nourishing word of God. After all, “… men are that they might have joy.” ( 2 Nephi 2:25). His purpose is for me to have Joy – to be happy! When I am one with Him in heart and in mind the work will become delightsome, even joyful.
All this happens through the Savior and through the Savior I get to know the Father. This week I was reminded of “yoking” myself to the Savior. By “yoking” myself to the Savior I am “yoking” myself to the Father! I am “yoking” myself to others. Animals that are yoked together harness their energy, and strength and increase their productivity. I am in need of increased energy. I gain it through the Savior. I gain it from my friend and from my family. I am in need of strength – physically and spiritually. I can gain it by strengthening my “yoke” to the Savior. I gain it through helping and being helped by others. I am in need of an increase of productivity – in my healthy efforts and in increasing my faith. I am most productive when I place spiritual things first. Think of the power that is mine to harness when I am “yoked” to the Father; “yoked” to the creator of the universe; “yoked” to a loving Father who is all powerful, all knowing, master of compassion and creativity! The “yoke” is not a burden; it is a useful, positive, desirable thing. In a real sense the “yoke” brings me freedom.
“My burden is light,” declares the Savior. Light is the opposite of heavy, and it is the opposite of dark. This week I’ve discovered that as I emulate Christ my journey has not been wearisome. In fact, my journey has become joyful. All day I am focused on the Savior. All day I think about what I will record in my blog as my thoughts and feelings of the journey. Each moment I am looking for the lessons that the Lord is trying to teach me. Every object in my life becomes a symbol of a gospel principle or a parable teaching my soul the mysteries of God. Looking for the deep meanings in the scriptures has enlightened my soul. I find it easy to avoid tempting chocolate. I find water refreshing. I even find walks enjoyable. I am receiving my reward.
President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “We are prone to complain, frequently at home, often in public. Turn your thinking around.” His point was that we need to be happy. God intends for us to find joy in the journey. Even the rough patches of life can be overcome. My Grandpa White was an avid golfer. He was great at directing the ball anywhere he wanted it to go on a course. Yet he knew, and I know, most putts don’t drop. This may seem odd to bring up now, but anyone who believes that bliss is normal in life will run around thinking they have been robbed. Sometimes, things aren’t as smooth as they can be. My Grandpa found joy in the game, even when the putt didn’t sink. I can find joy, even when the journey is tough, the walk is long, the cookie is calling, or the pound returns. The trick is to thank the Lord for the game.