For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Archive for September, 2014

Care of Your Soul

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

relax

Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, wrote about the need to nurture our soul in big and little ways.  He defines the soul as an experience rather than a thing.  It is what allows us to experience life on a deep and profound level, to connect with God and to navigate the ups and downs of life.

In his writings is an underlying question that begs an answer…how do you care for your soul?  Will Donnelly in a recent blog on this topic asked “how would you use your imagination to truly care for your soul”?  For him the answer was to listen in silence because he had avoided silence for years.  He knew that slowing down and listening in the quiet would bring up things he didn’t want to face.  And it was in the facing of those things that brought his soul nurture and peace.

What is it that your imagination is nudging you to do in order to care for your soul?

I think that we often avoid taking Sabbath time because we have things in our lives we don’t want to deal with.  In keeping busy we can avoid the discomfort.  Or, we think that Sabbath time is unproductive time rather than time to recharge our energy centers and build our stamina back up to face the ups and downs of life.

For several weeks now I have been flat out crazy busy and my soul is suffering from lack of attention. One of the things that my imagination keeps conjuring up for me is a long, cozy day in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and lots of good reading material.  The chair is there.  The tea is in the cupboard and the reading material has been piling up for a while now.  All that is missing is me.65147-stock-photo-blue-relaxation-dark-style-moody-art

This question has moved me to face the need my soul is nudging me toward.

I have just scheduled reading time on my calendar, in ink, for this afternoon.  How about you?

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10.41-42

Blessings,

Nancy

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Sabbath Disengagement

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

We live in a world that is hostile to rest.  In his book, The Twenty-Four-Hour Society, Martin Moore-Ede writes that “our bodies were designed to hunt by day and sleep at night.”  Instead we work and play at all hours and cross time zones sometimes more than once in a day. internet He concludes that “the pace of technological innovation is outstripping the ability of the human race to understand the consequences.”

Long before technology made us a 24 hour society, God knew that there would be consequences to never resting, to always producing.  Now thousands of years later scientific studies are backing up what the wisdom of God never questioned…we need to disengage in order to lead productive lives.

Wayne Muller in his beautiful book, Sabbath, writes, “The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others.”    And it isn’t too much of a leap to assume we are so important that we don’t need to heed the command of God to take a rest.

Unfortunately, the one addiction that is admired in our society is work-a-holism.  When in fact it is most likely a manifestation of obsessive-compulsive disorder according to Tony Schwarz in his book Full Engagement.

exhaustedwoman on bedI came face to face with my work-a-holism when an ulcer and near nervous breakdown sent me to bed for the rest I had resisted in my efforts to be a good pastor.

If you look at your life and your tendency to overwork, where do you think you will be in a year if you keep up this current pace?  What will it take for you to take God’s command and gift to heart and rest at least one day a week?

If you have found a rhythm of rest and work, bravo!  You have mission to share what you have learned with others so that we do not overwork, over stress and overload our society to the point of implosion.

This is perhaps some of the most important work we can do because without a pause, without a rest, without time to renew we will run out of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy to solve the problems of the world and be productive servants of God.

Again, from Tony Schwarz, “intermittently disengaging is what allows us to passionately reengage.”  The world needs more passionaries.

IMG_1878“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.” Psalm 23

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

 

 

Sabbath Reflection

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

This past week I have found myself doing a significant amount of reflection.  Milestones, circumstances, and events provided me an opportunity to look at my life and life in general with eyes searching for a deeper meaning and perspective. pressured person

In my normal day-to-day existence I tend to move through it checking items off my to do list at a rapid and almost rhythmic speed.  Living at warp speed does not lend itself to reflection and deeper thought.  But taking time for Sabbath does.

In order to really tune in to what is shaping my life, I need quiet time.  In order to see what God has been doing and is doing in my life, I need to stop and breathe deeply.  In order to know how to respond to what life is bringing my way, I need to simply be. relax In order to hear to what God is saying to me, I need to listen with my heart and stop the chatter in my mind.

Sabbath gives me the time to quiet myself, to breathe deeply, to be, and to listen with my heart.  For that I am grateful and I wonder why I do not do it as often as I need to.  I am beginning to realize that the more turmoil there is in my life the more I need to slow down and fill my time with quiet reflection rather than frenetic activity.  It is a lesson I continue to learn.

For me, as the reality of a 24 hour rest becomes more and more elusive, the need for Sabbath moments becomes more and more important. 

Or as Rumi, puts it: 

What I want is to leap out of this personality

And then sit apart from that leaping –

I’ve lived too long where I can be reached.

And as Proverbs puts it:

Above all else, guard your heart,

For it is the wellspring of life.

Blessings,

Nancy

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