Dear Sabbath Seekers,
Well, there was another tornado warning siren this week. This one caught me totally off guard because I had not been watching television. It had rained and thundered off and on during the afternoon but I hadn’t heard of any possible tornadoes from this storm. So, just before the siren went off I was preparing for a dinner guest in complete oblivion of what was heading my way.
The supper was cooking, the candles were lit, music was playing in the background as I sat waiting for my guest to arrive. Just as I opened the door to greet her the siren went off and by the look of panic on her face I knew this wasn’t a fire call. She said that a tornado was expected and that we needed to go to the gym in the complex which is protected and underground. As I quickly turned off the stove, blew out the candles and grabbed my raincoat, the wind came up, the thunder and lightning hit simultaneously and we were running down the hall to the exit. When we reached it, however, it was raining so hard you could not see a foot in front of you. The sky was pitch black and the wind was howling. I said, “we aren’t going to the gym in this,” and praying one of my more profound prayers “Help us, Lord,” we headed back up to my second story apartment.
Once back inside I turned on the television to see the angry red line of tornado producing storms on the weather map. ‘Yessir, that is our area’ I thought to myself. Standing in the living room watching the storms move we wondered if we should go to the inside closet and wait it out. While we were wondering that we didn’t hesitate to decide that a glass of wine would be helpful either way.
The rain continued to beat against the windows, the thunder and lightning provided background music and the TV showed the line of storms passing by. It looked like we had dodged another one. Because these storms rotate quickly we sat in front of the TV watching the weather channel, eating our dinner, sipping our wine and talking. We watched as other areas became targeted and hit and we were grateful that no one was injured.
Looking back on all of this what I zero in on is our sitting on the floor, eating, talking, drinking wine and being very aware of the power of nature to bring chaos in a minute’s notice. And yet, despite the chaos outside, inside I felt there a sense of Sabbath, a recognition that God is the creator and we are the creatures, a remembrance that the food and wine, both products of nature, nourish the body and soul in times of trial. Even in the midst of confusion and fear, there was shalom, a feeling of peace and well-being, because of God’s presence felt in another’s company and in the meal we shared.
Spending time in Sabbath moments has allowed me to find peace in the midst of chaos or anxiety. When the warning sirens go off in my life, I can recall the peace of Sabbath because taking regular Sabbath moments has become a body memory embedded in my DNA – which I now define as Do Not be Anxious.
This week as you practice your Sabbath Moments refresh yourself with some of the things that bring you closest to God and assure you that you can trust God in all things.
“Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest.” Robert J. Dufford