Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sabbath - part 5

[from An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor - a portion of her personal Sabbath vision, which she recommends each person develop]

"At least one day in seven, pull off the road and park the car in the garage.... Turn off the computer. Stay home not because you are sick but because you are well.... Take a nap, a walk, an hour for lunch. Test the premise that you are worth more than you can produce - that even if you spent one whole day being good for nothing you would still be precious in God's sight - and when you are convinced that this is not so, remember that your own conviction is not required. This is a commandment. Your worth has already been established, even when you are not working."

For me, this is the big moment in a discussion of Sabbath - personal worth and value. Helping people feel valued and loved by God is one of my deepest passions, but deep down I know that I struggle with this, too. I feel worthwhile when I am busy, when I am accomplishing something. Last year I attended a conference where Kevin Lehman was the primary speaker. (It was fantastic!) In one of his books he asks you to finish the phrase, "I only count when...." My answer at first was "I only count when I get it right." And that is still accurate. But lately I have wondered if there is another answer, something like "I only count when I check things off my list." I'm sure there is therapy-fodder in there aplenty, but for the moment I think it ties directly into my ponderings about Sabbath. If I believe my value is in getting things done (and getting them right), setting those things aside for a day messes with the core of who I think I am.

What do you think of Taylor's Sabbath vision? What would your Sabbath vision include?

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