Dear Sabbath Seekers,
This week I had what I thought was a very strange assignment in a class I am taking. I was asked to make a promise to myself every day and then to journal about how it felt to keep it or not to keep it. Furthermore, at the end of the week I was asked to reflect on what I wanted to stay the same, what I wanted more of and what I wanted to change in my life as a result. What I thought was strange on the surface became a profound inner experience for me.
As the week began I noticed that my promises were really just part of my to do list. “I promise to finish x”. Or, “I promise to accomplish y.” By mid-week I wasn’t sure this is what the assignment was about. On Wednesday I switched from promises to do something to promises about how I wanted to be that day. For example, “I promise myself that I will not lose my temper, or judge someone today, or complain.” Then, my promises became more positive…”I promise to enjoy myself in all things today.” By the end of the week I noticed how much easier I was breathing, living and being. The to do list was still there but my new promises gave me a new perspective with which to carry them out.
The Sabbath is a promise we can make to ourselves. We can promise ourselves that we will stop, rest for a day or a moment in time. It is a promise when kept that will change our perspective. It is a moment in time when we realize that we are enough, that we are more than our to do lists or accomplishments and that the world will go on without our controlling any part of it. It can be humbling to realize this and it can also be freeing.
But it is also an affirmation from God that we are enough – even at rest. God says you have done enough for now, for this day, for this week. You are enough just as you are and I grant you this time to rest, reconnect and re-create. God invites us to come sit, talk and be in God’s presence for a time of peace and joy. It is a promise from God and it can be our promise back to God that surely we will. It is a promise that may sound strange in this day and age but it is a promise of a profound inner experience for those who keep it. It is a promise that can change your life.
“For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant, Abraham. He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy; he gave them lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for-that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the Lord.” Psalms 105.42-45
Blessings of promise to you,