Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Sabbath Time take Three
"Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need." Admiral Richard Byrd
In the late 1920s, again in the middle 1930s, and again in the late 1930s; Admiral Byrd was an explorer of the Antarctic. He braved the bitter cold, dangerous wind chills, endless snow and blinding blizzards to live in the frozen tundra. On one of his explorations, he lived five months alone in a shack. During some of those days, the temperature outside sank to 70 degrees below zero.
But when he returned, he offered the quote above. From the stillness and solitude, he found something meaningful - not fame or fortune - but time to be. After all, it is not like you are going to go for a leisurely stroll when it is 70 degrees below zero outside, even the polar bears were knocking on his door asking to come in out of the chill. Okay, that probably didn't happen, but it would have been hilarious if it was true.
Sabbath is about re-orienting our relationship with time.
Sabbath is about reacquainting ourselves with our truest self.
How many of us in the hustle and bustle of these days, say amid the endless to-do lists of our lives, "Who am I?" That is not a question Google can answer for you! It is un-Google-able - which is now one of my favorite words.
Who am I? is a question that you cannot outrun. You can schedule every waking minute, fall exhausted into bed, wake up the next morning feeling like you are running late from the moment your feet hit the ground...
But are you and I not more than just a collection of our experiences and encounters? Are we not more than just what is on our to-done lists? Are we not more than accomplishments?
Richard Rohr says we spend the first half of life trying to build the container of life - our successes and trophies and bank accounts. But, at some point, we realize that all that stuff we have stuffed into our lives isn't really who we are.
Sabbath will challenge the notice that we are what we produce and consume. Sabbath will poke holes in our personal salvation projects - when we tell ourselves that we will feel much better when this task is complete. Sabbath rejects the cliche that you will rest when you are dead.
Rest isn't just ceasing perpetual motion. Rest is about letting both the soles of our feet and our frenzied soul take a break.
At this point, if you are like me, there are all sorts of objections raising their hands.
But what about this vital task?
But what about this person?
But what about...(fill in the blank).
Here is my invitation to you for today...write down all the reasons why Sabbath is impossible. Go ahead. Write down everything that clamors for you to stay in the cacophony and commotion of being always on the go. Try to exhaust all your reasonable and rationale for why I am out in left field.
Once you have filled the page...pause.
What is that trace of grace our still singing God trying to serenade you to hear that might still you?
May that holy moment be more than a blessing for you and me.