Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sabbath Reclaimed!

I reclaimed my sabbath: yesterday, rather than today. There has been a lot going on lately, and so I was feeling exhausted and greatly in need of pure rest, and so I took a day yesterday to simply not have an agenda. I did what I felt like doing from moment to moment.

In some ways it is easier to take Saturdays than Sundays. Saturday comes at the end of the work week, and so I am usually especially tired and in need of a break. I also feel I have time, because Monday still seems reasonably far away. By Sunday, I'm worrying about the week ahead and feel ready to attend to my work again (especially if I've taken a break on Saturday).

I've been looking a little into why (some) Christians changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. It's a complex story. I was wondering too whether that change brought with it a change in attitude towards sabbath (e.g., from "rest" to "spiritual work"). I learned that some traditions distinguish between sabbath (for rest) and "The Lord's Day" (for worship).

As I've talked with others about the notion of sabbath, and as I've read others' comments on my previous postings about sabbath, I have become aware of the many different attitudes that people have about what sabbath is "supposed" to mean. Now I see that different traditions define it very differently. No wonder there is so much dispute about its meaning.

Since my decision to try to honor the sabbath, I have not been holding strictly to it. But my reclaiming it for myself this week reminded me of how powerful it really can be.

I was falling into a trance again. I was beginning to feel run by my life and by forces out of my control. This weekend, I catch a glimpse of my essential freedom again.

We know when specific spiritual disciplines are helpful to us if we find that they help us to stay Awake.


  1. CS,

    Good for you. Keeping centered and not letting the world push us around is hard. I'm glad to see you are holding on to that center.

    By the way, how is the running coming along?

  2. I'm sorry to say that I'm having trouble keeping the running going, but I keenly feel its lack, and so that gives me hope that I can and will get back into it. I really do think that it's crucially important for me.

  3. I didn't mean to nag, just to encourage. It's hard to keep up with exercise but worth it.

  4. Don't worry -- I didn't take it as nagging but as friendly encouragement! Someone else asked me about it just today in a similar helpful spirit. This person pointed out that some of the current challenges I am facing would be easier for me to deal with if I reclaimed this for myself, and I could tell in my soul that he was exactly right.

    So I will set this one modest goal for myself: to get up early tomorrow and go out for a run.

    And I'll report back on whether or not I did it.