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"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..." Isaiah 30. 15

Contemporary life is all about action: getting things done, cutting through the to-do list or the bucket list, racking up achievements. The constant pressure to show results reinforces our thirst to get going and keep going. But driven people are uncomfortable to be with. We can be impatient, ruthless even - and very good at justifying why our dynamism should be celebrated not criticised!

Which is all why we need verses like today's cautionary reminder from Isaiah. He may have lived too early to know Jesus but he was aware that human beings cannot achieve their own ultimate good, let alone save the world. That is God's business. And the way to make sure we are not getting in the way is to allow him to take the initiative in our lives.

Daily quiet times and a weekly Sabbath are essential for gaining a balanced life, where we let God take the strain and call the shots. That way we get our own contribution into perspective and are able to deploy our gifts more effectively. We are not the centre of our world but we have a part to play. The key figure is God himself, who set us an example by resting on the seventh day. Jesus emphasised the point during his earthly ministry by taking time out.

Observing the Sabbath is a command. In shifting the Christian Sabbath to Sunday, which is the first day of the week, the Church was not only celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on a Sunday, but is also claiming our place in God's New Creation, in which we shall enjoy a permanent Sabbath.

You may face a day of deadlines and chores. Remember from where (or from whom) your strength comes...

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