Saturday, November 10, 2007

Spontaneous Sabbath Moments

This semester, I have not been as intentional about taking sabbath time as I tried to be last year. This semester, my life has been such that I feel less able to predict when I will be in a productive working mood, and when I will need a sabbath-like break. And so I have felt the need to take full advantage of good working moods when they come, but, to balance that out, I have also been alert for spontaneous sabbath moments, and I have been letting myself take them when they come. So instead of taking a whole sabbath day each week, I let small spaces open up every few days or so. I may take an hour here, a half-hour there. Sometimes on weekends, I may even take a 2- or 3-hour block.

This is sort of working. But I'm writing about it to be more intentional and aware of this change. If I didn't mark this change and describe what it is, I would become vulnerable to lapsing into an undisciplined life, characterized by a half-asleep consciousness. Strangely enough, if I did allow this, my "productivity" might increase in a certain kind of way, but it wouldn't really be a high-quality productivity. It would be an obedient productivity. It would be the kind of productivity that helps keep the world humming nicely (and blindly) along its self-destructive path.

But I prefer to lend my energies to a more transformative productivity -- the kind of productivity that builds a sustainable, peaceful, and creative world. A person's ability to be productive in this way requires awareness and reflection. And some form of sabbath is very helpful to cultivating awareness and providing time for reflection.

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