Enjoying the gift of life through Sabbath can be as simple as reading the Bible.

Gratitude, Generosity, and Sabbath

By Aurora Sarchet

Last fall, I found the book Planted by Leah Kostamo on the library shelf. At only 152 pages in length, it was a short read, but a meaningful one. I chuckled at the playful line drawings, and laughed over stories of A Rocha kitchen disasters, teaching kids to lick slugs – they numb your tongue! – and the unexpected appearance of a herd of cattle. Between smiles, I was also deeply impressed by the sincerity and insight the book offered.

Want to read it for yourself? Purchase your own copy of Planted here!

One of the things I appreciated about Leah’s narrative was her honesty. I tend to be a restless person – always looking ahead, imagining a time when I will be happy and content. I find it tempting to imagine non-profit employment as that kind of paradise – a place where work is constantly meaningful and rewarding. Planted called me out on this. While Leah shared about the joys of her family’s work in creation care, she also made it clear that anything worth striving for involves not only joy but seasons of sweat, blood, and tears. She shared moments of victory, but also allowed me to witness her experiences of uncertainty, doubt, and struggle. I found this sense of balance within the narrative refreshing. Just because I have a bad day doesn’t mean I should give up. Sometimes it’s okay to cry – there are things worth breaking your heart over.

Could this be paradise? Folk dancing while employed at a non-profit?

While I was impressed with Leah’s honesty, I was also impacted by her wisdom. Living more sustainably can seem like a daunting task – in an age that wraps almost everything in plastic and demands vehicular transport on a nearly daily basis, where do I even begin? Rather than a mile-long checklist designed to make my lifestyle sustainable, Planted offered me three principles designed to change the way I think: Gratitude, Generosity, and Sabbath (Chapter 10). I am reminded of Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV). Living more sustainably isn’t all about a checklist – it’s about an internal change, about loving other people and our planet. Planted suggested to me that I need to recognize how much I have been given (Gratitude); it reminded me not to cling possessively (Generosity); it invited me to rest, lay aside my impulse to consume, and enjoy the gift of life (Sabbath).

Recently in church we have discussed how Lent is a season of laying aside distractions to be able to focus on God more clearly. On Sunday, I laid aside my stress over unfinished homework and projects to take a Sabbath – going to church, reading my Bible, napping, walking and jogging, and spending time in quiet contemplation. I’m beginning to realize that life isn’t just about getting stuff done. It really is a journey – sometimes hard, sometimes beautiful, but always a gift.

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Good Seed Sunday

Our creation care initiative, Good Seed Sunday, is happening April 26! We have plenty of resources to help you understand what loving people and our planet can look like. They also make for good Sabbath activities when trying to focus on God. Resources include:

  • Bible studies
  • Children’s programs
  • Devotionals
  • Tips for living lighter
  • Worship resources
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Aurora Sarchet is a volunteer attending Trinity Western University who loves exploring God’s creation year-round.