Take a moment. (Yes, now.) Inhale deeply. Exhale slowly. Rest. Reflect.

Are you reading this while waiting in line somewhere, trying to circumvent your forced pause with productivity? Do you spend your evenings and weekends checking and rechecking Slack or email, unable to disconnect from your work or your Wi-Fi? Have you mistaken rest for distraction, spending hours scrolling listlessly to silence the looming sense that you should be working?

If you resonate with any of the above, it’s time to learn how to slow down. Our first step is to rediscover Sabbath. To imitate our faithful Creator by stopping to savor all that is good. To trust in his grace-filled design for our schedules and our bodies. To tune our lives to the pace of love, not our Google Outlook Calendars.

For too many, Sunday — the day we as Christians of the American West typically “practice” Sabbath — is about last-ditch attempts to square our to-do lists before the “real work” of the week begins. Sabbath has become more about catching up on chores than catching up on sleep. Sabbath has shifted from a 24-hour period of deep delight and slowness into a day of frenzied meal prep, test prep, or work prep: anything to make us more productive and profitable over the days to come.

The frenetic calendar of our culture has a corrosive effect on our hearts and our relationships. Speed is the enemy of depth, crafting a society of shallow interactions and widespread loneliness. Our lives are full but not fulfilled.

“But, you don’t understand,” you may protest. “I have a full-time job and a family. This is just the pace of life for me right now. Maybe in a few years, it will be better. In a decade or so, when the kids are older, things will slow down.” Single parents. Students. Newlyweds. Empty nesters. Every person at Mill City is walking a different journey, yet, for far too many, the unifying struggle is a pace driven by hustle.

In Exodus 20, the Israelites were new to freedom. For more than 400 years, their bodies and schedules had been ruled by Egypt’s unyielding hunger for power and profit. God reminded Israel of the rhythm of life he’d established in the Garden: one where rest was revered as sacred and essential.

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days, you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Three millennia onward, we find ourselves equally in need of this reminder. Adele Calhoun, author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, writes, “If you aren’t resting, you are a slave to something.” So, what are you a slave to? Your schedule? What does your week worship? Work? Exercise? Money?

Here, we invite you to reject the enslaving pull of hurry. We invite you to understand Sabbath as not only a matter of rest but of resistance. Resistance to the worship of haste and excess. A holy rebellion that boldly proclaims, “Our humanity matters more than our profitability.”

The best way to cultivate Sabbath is to take time for solitude every day. Start with five minutes. Attune to God. Enjoy his presence and imagine his delight. If your mind wanders…you are human! See it as another opportunity to return to God. It may take a while to reorganize your daily and weekly rhythm, but like any of the practices we’ve explored together, Slowing requires patience and grace.

Still, our hope is that you engage Slowing intentionally and with full trust in the goodness of God’s intent. With time, you will feel its grounding effect on your body and mind. In bold disobedience to our Western pace, you will find yourself present to God, yourself, and others. You will travel at the speed of love.


Message Series

Week One | Lifestyle Suggestion?

Week Two | Solitude

Week Three | The Speed of Love

Week Four | Create Space

Weekly Practice Reminder

To receive a friendly reminder of our weekly practice given in Sunday’s message, simply text “practice” to 970-299-9997.


The Bible Project | Sabbath



Pastor Aaron had a conversation with Roe Dodgen about the need to slow down and the obstacles she has faced in her journey. As a spiritual director, she has experienced the transformational power of silence and solitude and helped others to do the same.

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