being still in God's big world

Getting an ‘F’ in Sabbath

I was reading an article today and I started to cry. Not ugly sobbing, just gentle tears. As I stopped to ask myself where it was coming from I realized quickly how much the article resonates with where I currently am. I am just “so busy.”

A couple days ago my fiancé and I were sitting down trying to figure out when we could get away for a day. We quickly came to the conclusion that we could get away for a day sometime in late January – hopefully.  How sad, that we have to plan 2 months in advance to get a single day away from the chaos.

Why is it like that – why am I like that?

One of my favorite books on Sabbath is Abraham Joshua Heschel’s, The Sabbath. In it, he writes: “Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.” Saying ‘no’ to things is at the root of Sabbath. We say ‘no’ to external and internal desires and distractions so that we can say ‘yes’ to God.”

I have not been saying ‘no’ enough – To others, to myself, to distractions, to anything – really. This frenetic pace of the world has seeped into my bones and I find my head trying to keep up against all better judgement. My heart is crying out and seeking space while my unconscious self has pushed passed the boundary of what is healthy and good.


For the next few weeks I shall be intentionally engaging in true Sabbath on Fridays. No email. No facebook. No cleaning. No Twitter. No TV. Yes reading. Yes writing. Yes painting. Yes hiking. Yes napping. Yes praying.


My reading list for these next few weeks include some tattered old friends:

  • Freedom of Simplicity, Foster
  • Sabbath Journey, Nouwen
  • The Sabbath, Heschel
  • Sabbath as Resistance, Brueggemann

I am getting a jump-start on Advent this year. How will my life change if every week, for the next 2 months, I intentionally engage in Sabbath for one 24 hour period every week? It’s not going to be easy. I can already identify some things that are going to have to come off the calendar. I can already identify weeks when I will need a moveable Sabbath, like a moveable feast, in order to succeed. But here goes everything!

And if you get an email from me saying I am unavailable for a meeting because there is something on my calendar, please congratulate me as we try to reschedule.

1 Comment

  1. bjohnson

    SO, friend…how’s this working out? Please do tell! (selfishly: I’ve been trying to figure this same thing out for the last year and it’s often feeling impossible…)

    By the way: you are magnificent.

Leave a Reply

© 2024 cairns me home

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑