While we are still in the month of January, a time for resolutions, remembering, and beginning again, I thought I would share with you the topic of the monthly retreat at our home this past weekend. We were able to listen to Ron Rolheiser on “Creating Sabbath Space in Our Lives”. Let me just share with you a few things that struck a chord in my being.
If you are as old as I am, you might remember when Sundays were incredibly special. You would put on your Sunday best, go to Church, come home, and enjoy a delicious meal together. In Brooklyn, we would sometimes take a walk down the avenue and look at all the store windows (stores were closed on Sundays), visit our Babci (grandmother), or stay home and play games with our cousins and friends. We were not allowed to use scissors or do any kind of work. We had lots of fun and family time.
Times have changed, and Rolheiser shared with us the idea of Sabbath. He mentioned three things that defined Sabbath in our lives. First, if we are having a Sabbath time then we must do the un-ordinary. If you use technology all the time, take a break and go for a walk and enjoy nature. Second is enjoying; whether it be a delicious meal, a good movie, or a visit with friends, enjoy it! Third, and this might sound strange, but reconciliation is involved. Rolheiser shared a story of how a person went on a great vacation and then when he returned, all rested and ready for work, in four days he was exhausted. Why? He hadn’t forgiven some of the issues that bothered him at work. Sabbath should allow for time to reflect and let go of things that drag us down. We need to reenter life after some Sabbath time in a spirit of peacefulness.
As he was speaking, I recognized so many things that I needed to attend to. In today’s world, we move at such a constant and consistent pace that we often put Sabbath times on hold. “Just one more thing… I’ll get to rest after I finish this”. Sabbath time doesn’t have to be long periods of time. It can be taking time to have a quiet cup of tea while listening to our favorite songs. Or, having breakfast on the beach with no one around, listening and watching the waves. All simple things, but doable. We can also set aside a day where we include the three pieces he mentioned. If you are really blessed, you may be able to take a weekend or week to rejuvenate yourself.
We need time to stop. God created the world and after he finished, He called it a day! Even God rested. In today’s world, with all its challenges, we really need to make room for some Sabbath practices. Enough said, I had better stop before I share the whole video! My prayer for you today and this week is that you can find some time for yourself to experience your Sabbath. Only you can create it. May it be for you a time to relate more closely to God, to yourself, and to others.
I leave you with this quote by Wayne Muller, from his book, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest: “The commandment ‘Remember the Sabbath day’… is the only commandment that begins with the word ‘remember’, as if it refers to something we already know but have forgotten.” May your Sabbath be blessed.
Till next week,
PS: I just thought of a bear -- he is smart enough to take a winter Sabbath! Clever animal.