Dear Sabbath Seekers,
I just read an article on Sabbath wisdom that talks about taking steps to make Sabbath time holy time. It lists a set of rituals done prior to and on Sabbath that elevates the time of Sabbath above ordinary rest to an intentional level of sacred space.
The author, Sara Schley, who has written Secrets of the 7th Day: How Everyone Can Find Renewal Through the Wisdom and Practices of the Sabbath, lists ways to make preparation for Sabbath that include getting as much off your desk as possible prior to Sabbath but not taking any work home, tidying up the space in which you will spend your time and cooking ahead.
Making sure your physical space actually provides a restful environment can bring you into the ambiance of Sabbath quickly. Not having to look at a messy living room will calm your mind and you won’t be thinking about how much work you have to do – which could abort your Sabbath rest. Music, candles, warmth and pleasing aromas help switch your mind from work to rest.
Once the physical environment has been primed to facilitate a Sabbath feeling, participating in some rituals can set the time apart from ordinary time. Some people offer a blessing of the wine or the food. Blessing those who are present changes us and those who are blessed as we open ourselves up to seeing one another as beloved creations.
Whether you eat, listen to music, engage in conversation or take a nap the intention of every action is to change the tone of the gathering to one that beckons us to a deeper level of attention and awareness.
And, nothing, nothing, nothing is to be done – dishes or clean up.
The transition is complete until it is time to transition back into the every day world of work, hopefully 24 hours later.
Ahh…I’m ready to start my Sabbath right now.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24.15
Dear Sabbath Seekers,
After a busy couple of holiday weeks and a house full of people, I came to realize just how precious my alone time is to me.
Are you someone who needs alone time to recharge your batteries? If so, then like me you are an introvert. Introverts find large groups of people draining while extroverts draw energy from the crowd. Introverts also tend to be silent processors of information while the extrovert tends to think out loud as he/she makes decisions. Neither is wrong. Both are very different, however.
When it comes to my Sabbath time after a particularly people filled couple of weeks I need time to myself, alone with God. Because I live with another person finding this alone space can be a challenge. Sometimes I need to take a long walk – alone. Sometimes I need to go into another room and be alone. Sometimes I need to go somewhere where nobody knows my name and I can be anonymous and alone.
Now this isn’t exactly earth shattering information, but what I find is that if I neglect this alone time, then I neglect my time with God as well because my energy is going out in other directions. Maybe that is why the command to keep the Sabbath includes NOT doing any work. God wants our energy focused in the right areas in order for Sabbath to be renewing and refreshing.
As you plan your Sabbath moments this week, think about where your energy is directed. What is in your Sabbath space? Does it distract and drain or does it focus and fill? Be intentional with your Sabbath time and energy. Make this special time count for you and God. It is time you will never get back and it is time that will influence the rest of your day and week.
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matthew 6.5-6 (The Message)