Keeping the Sabbath
The longer I live, the more I treasure Sabbath-rest.
Those windows of time untainted by obligation
Holy spaces where I encounter God
Thin places where heaven breaches earth
Little pockets of possibility
Amidst the rush of life
In rest, I find
Glimmers of creativity and flashes of insight
That have eluded me all week
An abiding peace
That surpasses all understanding
The freedom to just be.
The Sabbath day, to me, is:
A refuge from the bustling world and my clamoring heart
An opportunity to reconnect - with God and loved ones
A laying down of my cares at the feet of the One who cares for me
It is as much the nourishing of the soul and the senses,
As the refueling of the body
Both the renewing of the mind,
And the calming of the nerves.
Rest is not merely a reward for hard work.
It's a birthright.
A reflection of the Creator's own willingness to pause.
The Sabbath was created for the sake of man
Intended as a restorative
Because God in all His wisdom knew
That we would be creatures of toil
Seldom pausing in our conquest,
In our pursuit of more
Or as Mary Webb put it:
The well of Providence is deep. It's the buckets we bring to it that are small.
Sadly, not all of us feel we can afford to rest deeply these days:
Single parents of young children.
People juggling several jobs to feed their families
Those battling debilitating illnesses
Or caring for the sick.
People fighting the pandemic
Or wrestling with a difficult situation
Or even consumed by anxious thoughts.
If that is you right now, my prayer for you is stillness and peace in the turmoil.
The gift of slow, deep breath to punctuate a frantic day.
Creature comforts like a warm cup of tea or a cosy blanket,
A hug from a child who knows nothing of the cares of this world,
Five minutes spent reading something wholesome,
A funny video,
A message from an old friend,
Enriching sleep at night - however short the hours may be,
And the hope of a fresh morning.
Take care, my friend.
Be kind to yourself.