“The truth is, sabbath keeping is a discipline that will mess with you, because once you move beyond just thinking about it and actually begin to practice it, the goodness of it will capture you, body, soul and spirit…during the week, your whole self will strain toward the sabbath with thoughts like “I know I can make it because the sabbath is coming.” You will emerge from sabbath with renewed energy and hop thinking, I can face my life now because I have rested. The sabbath will become the centerpiece of your work, the kingpin of your spiritual rhythms. And when even an hour of it is robbed from you, you will grieve its loss. When you miss it, it will hurt.”–Barton in Spiritual Rhythms.
To re-read these passages is a slow wake up call from a sense of urgency that has captivated me since we are now into the full new year. I look at my schedule and sigh–then say, “How can I possibly do all of this? What was I thinking when I committed to all of these things?” Then I remember that Sabbath is God’s provision for me to work hard-pour my heart out and give out to others. Because on the sabbath–it is I who will be given to.
Now now the giving to me has begun. A sabbath mood is in the Inn. We are here alone. Fire in the fireplace. A sabbath walk and life giving friends coming over for dinner. We need this day because tomorrow the work begins with two couples who are flying in from different parts of the world. They are nervous, scared probably at what they’ve gotten themselves into in committing to come–to do a soul care intensive. So we need this sabbath to serve them well. To give to them deeply. To raise up the chalice of our own lives and say, “O God fill this fragile vessel with all you will this sabbath day!”