This time of the year, I frequently hear the youth comment about how busy they are. I remember when I was teaching, that this time of year felt like a downhill sprint to the end of the school year. April and May seem to just get busier and busier. This month, I have felt busier and busier.
As we near the close of Pastor Jeff’s first month of sabbatical, I have found that the extra meetings I attend and the addition of more preaching and teaching and visiting have left me tired. While I have enjoyed the new opportunities, I have also discovered a need to attend to self-care more diligently.
I am drawn back to the book, The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish author and scholar who taught Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Published in 1951, The Sabbath speaks to the Jewish understanding of God’s commandment to keep the 7th day of the week holy. Heschel speaks to human desire to have more within the material world, but often it is at the sacrificial of time, which is at the heart of our existence.
“The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we
live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to
holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in
time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of
creation to the creation of the world.”
Heschel calls us to remember to live into our being and not our doing. Seeking to commune with the mystery of the divine by taking time to encounter the holy. He talks of humanity needing to realize that the world was brought into being without our help, creation is not dependent on us. However, we are dependent on the Creator, the one who called us all into being. Sabbath is the way we stop and seek to care for our relationship to God.
As we enter what seems to be a season of perpetual and often frantic busy-ness, I invite us all to seek time of Sabbath, of holy rest. Find a day, or an afternoon or even an hour that you can stop and breathe in the wonder and the mystery of God. Find time that you can be. A time where you can be defined as a child of God and not by the task at hand.
Grace, Mercy, and Peace,