Saturday, August 30, 2008


It's the first day I've been in the Valley without rain in awhile. The grass is tall (Clayton may cut it this afternoon). It's the first day of college football season, and we've still not made our final decision on who is going to provide our television services (cable? dish? directv?), so we're into our third solid month of only watching movies.

Somehow it feels right. We're unpacking today. I've had a phone call. We're arranging things on shelves, and we haven't gone anywhere in the car. Could this be sabbath? Could it really feel this renewing every week?

I've got a good friend who challenges me a lot about whether or not I'm being faithful to taking a sabbath. I confess that I'm not great at it. But when I actually do it, it frees me from a lot of stress and anxiety. And I wonder--are the things that I do that keep me from sabbath worth more to me than being faithful and getting the renewal God knows I need? They are obviously important to the people who ask me to do them...and sometimes that's me.

What would our culture do if it slowed down or stopped for a whole day and just looked outside...or went outside? What would happen if for one day, the stress and anxiety got a chance to leak out of us? Maybe the economy would suffer, but perhaps (just perhaps) we wouldn't need to care as much because we would be in a better place.

Of course, this implies that we might need to shift a lot of things (including the need for people to work 7 days a week in order to make enough to survive). But I am aware that this thing that I view as a luxury (and it would be a luxury for many people) is an integral part of who I am as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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