Finding Sabbath

DSCN1004By Gerald May*

*Excerpted from his article, “Prayerfulness at Work” from Shalem’s News, Volume 29, No. 1-Winter, 2005. The full issue may be viewed here.

There is a rhythm to every workweek, regardless of what the jobs may be and where the workplace is: home, office, farm, construction site, on the road. In all places there are times of activity and times of repose, pressured moments and spacious moments. One of the major risks we human beings encounter is to miss the times of spaciousness and rest. We are likely to see them as useless, and to fill them up with other activities. Here the ancient rhythm of Sabbath can help release us from such compulsions. Find your Sabbaths and claim them. Sabbath is normally seen as a day of rest, recapitulating the creation story in which God rested on the seventh day. Practice that Sabbath day as much as you can. Sabbath, however, can be found not only in days, but also in certain hours of a day, and in certain precious minutes within the hours. Pray to be aware of such moments and times when they are given, and savor them.


Where do you find your Sabbath? I tend to be really good about it for a while and then the busyness of life creeps up on me and I start to lose one and then another Sabbath moment/day. Then suddenly I wonder why life seems overwhelming and I creep back to these precious times. Perhaps just being aware is what would save them. Taking that moment instead of trying to squeeze one more thing into those two minutes. Remembering to be gentle with myself and savoring them.



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10 years ago

I find that there’s a lot of external pressure to fill up Sabbath moments. Years ago, my boss required me to get a cell phone so that I could “make good use” of the time in between meetings by checking messages and returning calls while I was in a taxi or on the metro. I tried to explain to her that this was my down-time — thinking time when I processed the meeting I had just left and mentally prepared for my next meeting. I did not mention that one of my favorite parts of the day was talking with taxi drivers and hearing about their differing cultures. No luck. My boss won, and now I must struggle to create Sabbaths from the dang phone itself. Thanks for the reminder!

Maureen Jenkins RN
Maureen Jenkins RN
10 years ago

Love this reminder to claim and cherish Sabbath time!


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