Wednesday, July 11, 2012

sabbatical meditations

I have discovered that the word "sabbatic" (at the root of "sabbatical") means:
"of, relating to, or appropriate to the Sabbath as a day of rest and religious observance."
The Hebrew term "Shabat Shalom" is a greeting meaning "peaceful Sabbath"
which people would exchange on their day of rest: "peace while not working".
I suppose these two ideas are the goal of our summer.
I have never experienced such a prolonged period of not working.
I sometimes feel antsy and distracted, thinking about the future
or just about what I could do next, or I've delved into researching random ideas.
Sometimes I manage to just relax and chill out, or to sit still and listen.
Mostly, I've slept. I sleep and sleep and sleep some more.
There have been energetic moments and good time with the family.
However, since the kids went away with my parents this week,
leading to another layer of sabbatical removal of responsibility,
I've realized how thoroughly exhausted I am.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
(Psalm 91:1, NLT)
Eric seems to be slightly more energized than myself, but he is also laying low.
The words that resound around the edges are "wait on God."
I've contemplated what this waiting would look like.
"Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord."
(Psalm 27:14, NLT)
In daily life, waiting is very straightforward. You wait for the bus.
The way this is practiced is by moving your body to the correct geography
(i.e. the bus stop) and then staying put -- not moving too far away from that location.
I think we have stepped into this initial form of waiting. We have moved ourself
out of work and all of its locations and expressions (excepting the mundane elements
of daily survival). We are waiting. We are not sure what form our bus will take.
There seems to be another layer of waiting on God which has to do with listening
in stillness. I trust that God will take our meager efforts at this and speak loudly
enough for us to hear through all our distractedness. It seems that this kind of
waiting may extend into our return to normal life. Hopefully that normal life will be
somewhat different from the way we left it as we take hold of our days more dependently.
"Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly."
(Psalm 5:3, NLT)

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