In this chapter we discover the potential joy of the “unintentional.” What if Sabbath involved simply doing whatever comes to mind, rather than planning to go-have-fun? Could a day spent in pajamas, making homemade pizza or bread-machine-bread, coloring or reading and avoiding the screens be a balance to our lives that have so much input all the time? We are so often going, so often doing, so often receiving information (the average American sees nearly 5,000 ads per day!)…no wonder things are off-kilter in both our lives and our communities. Taking some time to seek balance is an important practice. And then finding ways to bring that Sabbath-mindfulness into our everyday lives is the next step! As MaryAnn says, “holy and blessed moments don’t happen unless I am present.” (p39)
One of the most common phrases we hear (and say!) is “I don’t have time.”
“I don’t have time to take a whole day off.”
“I don’t have time to go to the fair/take a walk/exercise/cook a healthy meal/visit someone who’s sick/spend time in prayer/etc.”
“I don’t have time to go to church/sing in the choir/volunteer at the food pantry/teach Sunday School.”
“I don’t have time for rest…I’ll rest when I’m dead.”
Yeah. Newsflash: if that is REALLY true, you’ll probably be dead sooner than you should be!
Does anyone really have time? MaryAnn suggests that really, it’s time that has us. What might that mean? What happens if we think about the fact that we belong to God…the creator of time…the one who took a day off…the one who commands us to take a day off? How might that affect our understanding of time and its role in our lives?
Neither I nor MaryAnn wants to minimize the reality that there are people for whom taking Sabbath is economically or otherwise impossible, or at least very costly. That is true. It is also true that we are prone to believe that reality when in fact it is not True (with a capital T). We often have an exaggerated sense of our importance, or our anxiety, or our financial reality, or any number of other things that contribute to our feeling that we can’t just rest for a while. Perhaps some time spent in prayer would help us identify where we are TRULY indispensable and where we might find 4 or 8 or 24 hours to rest in the glory of God’s care instead of always being in charge of everything ourselves.
What do you think? How can you bring some balance into your life? Where can you find some opportunities for rest? What is holding you back?