Sabbath take Six
Sabbath can be a moment of mindfulness in a society that is increasingly mindless - Walter Brueggmann.
Mindfulness is an important word being reclaimed in our world today. Of course, the increase frequency of use of a word doesn't always correspond to actual practice or embodying/living that word. We can practice mindfulness through contemplative prayer or yoga or sabbath or walking in nature or focusing on breathing or sitting in the sun or any other countless ways of ceasing and reading from a different script.
But, how many of us twenty minutes after spending time doing something that is supposed to calm and center us...find ourselves feeling frustrated or flummoxed? How many of us leave the yoga studio only to yell at the first car who pulls out in-front of us? Yes, in the moment, we were so zen, but now we are fuming at the person who cut us off.
Part of the wisdom in observing and living out Sabbath is that it is more than just one hour. It isn't something we do at all. It is space and time we enter into, which is why Heschel called it "a cathedral of time". We needed a spacious place to be.
Imagine Sabbath like a space to explore.
With a roof to shelter you in the space.
With a floor that gives you stable ground on which to stand.
With walls that connect the two.
With decorations and furniture that create holy ground.
Stay with me...
What helps give you shelter in the storms of life? For me, it is being in nature - the shade of a tree that has been growing for centuries. Or sitting reading a good book. Or taking a walk.
What supports and sustains you? For me, it is precious time with family eating and laughing or enjoying a movie or taking photographs.
What connects the two? Being in creation with my camera or taking my book to sit on my lanai.
What decorations create holy ground? A comfortable chair or pair of shoes, a good meal with all four family members at the table - at the same time!
These are just initial responses, but I invite you to ask yourself the same questions. What shelters, supports, connects, and decorates the space of time in your life in meaningful, holy ways? Such questions can help us notice the traces of God's grace and enter mindfully and heart-fully into such a time as this.