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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Should I Swim on Sabbath?


Im on a swimming team, and were going to a big swimming meet in another country to compete against 32 countries! The meet will be on Sabbath and Sunday. I will compete only on Sunday. But what should I do on Sabbath while everyone else is at the meet? Would it be wrong if I competed on Sabbath?

Steve Answers:

Congratulations on qualifying to go! But what should you do when you really want to keep Sabbath holy and swim at the big swimming meet?

Let’s look at the Sabbath commandment from Exodus 20:8-11: "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 manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 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."

Clearly Sabbath is a day dedicated to God. So if you choose to do your own thing–and you can certainly choose to do that–you totally ignore the whole idea of dedicating the day to the One who made you, including your ability to swim.

Is there anything more important to you than swimming in that meet? If your answer is no, then you’ve just revealed that swimming in the meet is your god–the most important thing in your life.

If your answer is yes, then God is more important to you than swimming in the meet. And you’ll want to hang with God on that special day to focus on Him.

If God isn’t more important to you than swimming, but you’d like for Him to be, then choose Him over swimming. If you do, your value for God and His Sabbath will increase.

Think about this comparison. This swimming meet is important because 32 countries will be there, and it happens only once in a while–maybe once in your life, unless you end up going to the Olympics. The Sabbath is important because God is the Creator of all the countries, and He makes Sabbath happen again and again. So why refuse this gift from your Creator?

If you haven’t seen Chariots of Fire, I recommend that you rent it at a video store. It’s old, but the character in the story faces your same dilemma. Check it out.

I hope your ending will be similar to his!

What could you do on Sabbath while your teammates are competing? Look for a church near the place of competition. You could check out God’s creation in that setting, even listen to some of your favorite Christian music. Try hooking up with some other Adventist friends, if possible, and laugh a lot.

Do something active rather than just sit and think about the meet. Then spend time in prayer and continue long enough to start listening to God instead of only talking to Him. It could be the best Sabbath of your life so far! 

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