Spiritual discipline requires intentionality even before you add an intense degree program into the mix. And yet, “remembering the Sabbath” has never been more important. Plan ahead to preserve time off, and how you’ll use these precious hours. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Take a day trip by yourself
Every now and then, you may want to sabbath in solitude. Head to the beach, drive out of the city or plan an easy hike. Getting out and getting alone with God are guaranteed head-clearers. Just be sure to bring your journal.
Practice what you are learning
If you’re in seminary, you are most likely learning a lot about spiritual disciplines, doctrine and traditions you haven’t experienced firsthand. Put justice into action at a homeless shelter, try contemplative prayer practices during your down time or explore Scriptures outside of your curriculum.
Fast and feast in community
Gather family and friends to spend the day together fasting the first two meals. Push past the small talk to catch up and pray for any needs. Then, prepare a fresh meal together for dinner and allow time to linger around the table.
Unplug from the extras
Commit 24 hours to a technological detox—no emails, no phone calls, no social networking. Take care of any business the night before, and don’t be afraid to let people know you are observing a sabbath. It’ll relieve the pressure of wondering who is trying to reach you.