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

Posts tagged ‘distress’

Sabbath Sabotage

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Remember when Paul wrote the good that I know I should do I don’t….

Well, he wasn’t alone.  How come we know the things that will bring us inner peace and calm yet don’t practice it?

Today I got an email from Spirituality and Health listing the top 5 ways to bring about inner calm.  Since I can be sucker for an easy fix I read them hoping to find something in that list of 5 that would grab me with a loud “AHA! That’s what I’ve been missing.”  Instead, the list consisted of five things I have heard about for years…refocusing your senses, deep breathing, guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and floating thoughts down a stream.Relaxation

These suggestions have been around longer than I have been getting stressed.  And then it dawned on me…

Maybe I should be doing them instead of looking for something new and different!

Which raised another thought…why don’t I do them on a regular basis if they are tried and true?  (because in truth I don’t)

Which raised another thought…why don’t I and our very stressed out culture do the things that make for calm instead of  complaining about how busy and stressed out we are?

Deep breathing, silent meditation, muscle relaxation have been shown to induce relaxation and relieve stress for thousands of years in all cultures.

And yet we ignore them because they aren’t new enough for our fast paced minds.

Furthermore, I read in the NY Times yesterday that a recent study showed that people would rather give themselves a mild shock than spend 5 minutes alone with themselves reflecting silently on their lives!

God gave us the gift of a 24 hour rest period to restore and refresh ourselves.

And we ignore the commandment on a regular basis. (be honest, we do)

We know what we should be doing to relax and slow down.  We just don’t want to do them and it seems we prefer pain to downtime with ourselves.

So the question is what do we get out of not relaxing, not slowing down and not taking a 24 hour Sabbath?  Because if there wasn’t a pay off we wouldn’t keep going at this pace.

I’m going to have to think about this question because I know the answer is inside of me. I guess I will have to take those silent minutes to reflect and see what happens.  Perhaps the answers I come up with be more shocking than a mild self-administered shock. 

How about you?

“I do not understand my actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7.15





Sabbath Moments and Hiding

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I’m exhausted mentally, physically and bordering on emotionally too.  I am praying that spiritually I am still on my feet.  Being pushed to my limit has reminded me just how quickly life can become overwhelming.  And I feel guilty because the things that are exhausting me are not tragic, unresolvable, or long-term.  There are far too many people dealing with war, poverty, illness and grief to even compare my little blips on an overwhelm scale.  And no matter how often I tell myself this, I’m still fighting an internal battle to keep my body, mind and spirit on an even keel. 

So, I’ve decided not to pretend everything is ok and face the stressors head on –  deal with those that can be dealt with, get help with those I can’t handle alone and let myself feel what I am feeling knowing it will pass.   I have come to realize that by pretending all is well and that I am just dandy has often caused me more exhaustion than just acknowledging that this is a difficult time and letting it all out. 

The same is true with how open, vulnerable and honest I am with God.  If I keep trying to hide my true feelings from God or pretend I am 100% together spiritually, then I am only kidding myself and depleting my spiritual energy.  God knows how I am feeling even before I do so why hide it or pretend.

My Old Testament professor in seminary was fond of reminding us that God does some of God’s best work when we cry out. 

So I’m not hiding out in my Sabbath Moments this week.  I will let it all hang out trusting that God knows and understands what I most need.  How about you?  Do you find yourself hiding from God or pretending that all is well when your insides are crumbling under the weight of life’s ups and downs?  Join me in real, open Sabbath moment sharing and see what happens to your energy and how God will bless your integrity.

“In my distress I called to the Lord, I cried to my God for help.  From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears…He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.”  Psalm 18.6, 16




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