Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sabbath :: Stepping Out of the Traffic

We live in a culture addicted to speed, enamored with glitter and the drive to acquire more and more stuff. Busyness is a badge of honor that ushers in a sense of unprecedented importance, at least we tell ourselves. We are constantly being shown images of what we are to aspire to be like in order to gain significance.

Conversely, Sabbath reminds us that we already have enough and that the true essence of life is known as we begin to pause and move in slow motion. As we make room for Sabbath, we find a great exchange transpires. In reality, it isn’t so much us that keep the Sabbath, rather it is the Sabbath that keeps us.

Our culture says, go faster, yet deep inside we know that we can never go fast enough. One of the things that stuck out to me was the statement, “Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop. We do not stop when we are finished. We do not stop when we complete our phone calls, finish our project… We stop because it is time to stop.” There are those things that have to be done, yet there is a time to simply “stop,” and rest and breath and be.

More and more, I’m finding this not only helpful, but absolutely necessary. On several occasions lately, I've fantasized about creating some antithesis of the remote used in the movie "Click." Rather than fast-forwarding through the undesirable moments of life, this remote would pause moments, allowing them to roll forward in slow motion.

Sabbath is about learning the art of pausing long enough to become aware of the Presence in the present moment.

"Step out of the traffic!
Take a long, loving look at me,
your High God,
above politics,
above everything."
(Psalm 46:10 MSG)

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