SABBATH HAS GIVEN me back a taste of my real life. For those with means to cease from work, the myth of being “too busy” to stop for one day, one afternoon, one morning, one hour, or one minute is a defense mechanism that shields us from the hard work of meaning-making. It’s much easier to have full calendars and martyr ourselves through the days. It’s less work to stay in the American mode of “crazy-busy.”
The toughest part of practicing sabbath is letting go of our maladaptive coping so that we may experience fulfillment through an ancient medicine God put in place for everyone. This elixir works — no matter what century, country, or circumstance we find ourselves in.
If we can swing one entire day off (a privilege that others may not have) or one hour off, we ought not turn to the screen. We can use this time to enrich our lives through activities that may not be valued by our culture or economy. We can take a nap, sit in silence alone, pray, read a devotional, attend a church service, enjoy a slow meal with someone, or offer our time to others in a way that doesn’t benefit us in a material way. When we don’t keep sabbath, we are embezzling time from ourselves, as Rabbi Heschel reminds us. Time is our only nonrenewable resource. Sabbath, then, helps us to number our days rightly.
– J. Dana Trent
For Sabbath’s Sake
From pages 120-121 of For Sabbath’s Sake: Embracing Your Need for Rest, Worship and Community by J. Dana Trent. Copyright © 2017 by J. Dana Trent. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What are sabbath activities for you? Share your thoughts.
And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Mark 6:56, NRSV
This Week: pray for the peace of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Dorothea Dix (July 18).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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