Thursday, July 28, 2011

Time to Stop



Time to Stop

I’ve often heard my husband say, “It would be great to have everything in the yard done, so that I could just sit and relax.” 

This is an unrealistic and impossible wish, unless we live in an apartment or condo.  Living as we do, in a house with a multi-treed and multi-gardened yard that is 120 feet by 150 feet, that also features three hedges and many flowering vines and shrubs, there will always be yard-work to do.  Always…the chores are cyclical!

The key to sitting and relaxing is simply to do it.  He doesn’t listen to me when I talk to him about the necessary balance between action and rest, in the relentless busyness of yard maintenance.  He doesn't listen when I say, "We'll never be finished."

Everyone needs rest to gain nourishment, wisdom, courage and clarity, to heal from care and work and worry.  There is a rhythm between striving effort and “Sabbath time.” 

The original meaning of the word “Sabbath” (in Old English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew) was “to rest.”  We have forgotten that and believe that “Sabbath” refers only to a religious concept.

Dear sweetheart, since you won’t listen to my words, perhaps you’ll listen to these from Wayne Muller.  This excerpt is from his book, Sabbath, Restoring the Rhythm of Sacred Rest.

I quote Wayne Muller here:

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, get through this stack of messages, or get out this report that is due tomorrow. We stop because it is time to stop.
Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop--because our work is never completely done. With every accomplishment there arises a new responsibility.
Every swept floor invites another sweeping, every child bathed invites another bathing. When all life moves in such cycles, what is ever finished?
The sun goes 'round, the moon goes 'round, the tides and seasons go 'round, people are born and die, and when are we finished? If we refuse rest until we are finished, we will never rest until we die.
Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished.

Liberate yourself from the need to be finished! 
Take the Sabbath time and stop to rest.

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