A Cure For Existing on Fumes

“For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.” Exodus 20:9-11 MSG

“And maybe that it is what the Sabbath is meant to do for us: Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone else.” – Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath

Yes, friend.
Go ahead.
Do your work.
You need to.
For six days, go at it.
Do your ordinary, every day, run-of-the-mill work:
Send your emails; reply to texts.
File papers; write your bills.
Sit in meetings; decide on matters.
Teach a lesson; return a phone call.
Work your hands; cultivate your mind.
Volunteer some time; make a connection.
Ask some questions; learn some answers.
Break a sweat; get dirty.
Pick up groceries, make a meal.
Vacuum a rug, wipe a counter.
Plant a garden, rake a lawn.

Easy now.

Take a deep breath.
Do you see?
There is a holy gift wrapped in your midst.


Go ahead,
open it.
It’s for you!

Sabbath boxopen

Don’t be shy.
Receive all the abundance.
Allow yourself to
unwrap Sabbath,
and be reminded:

Sabbath was made for YOU!
To unbind from the ordinary,
To live!

To resoul your connection
to the divine
through rest, play, delight,
holy freedom.

Go on.
Say yes.
Give yourself permission.
It is God’s great, loving desire
for you.

Too quickly we can be bound up by “laws” of Sabbath. We believe Sabbath takes place 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday. We wonder what we can/can’t/should/shouldn’t do during our time. This easily shuts us down from engaging any type of Sabbath for our lives. Here are a few questions that may help begin your quest for Sabbath:

Consider flexibility: What are the boundaries of my Sabbath practice? Sunset to sunset? Half a day? One hour? When will it begin/end? What day of the week would work best for my practice of Sabbath? Will it be the same day each week?
Begin Small: How can I take a small amount of time each day/week for God? What has a hold on me during the week that I can put aside for a period of time (fasting from digital?); Take a mid-day deep breath break to recenter.
Engaging Sabbath as a Ritual:  What is a small ritual I can do to mark the beginning and end of Sabbath time? (lighting candles, singing a song, turning off electronics, hand washing, etc)

Create a Sabbath Box:
Consider creating a Sabbath box for your family to place important items that help free you for a period of time (keys, phones, wallets, ipads, etc) A wonderful description of the Sabbath box can be found here.

These questions and ideas were greatly aided by a class on Sabbath taught by Ryan Bonfiglio as part of the Spiritual Formation program at Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia.

I was thrilled to be featured on Christine Valters-Paintner’s Abbey of the Arts site as her “Monk in the World” guest post this past week. My reflection is entitled, “Noticing As A Gateway to the Divine” and begins

“The rhythm of the day doesn’t escape me. Kylo won’t let it. He, our family’s zesty yellow lab, follows me close as I blearily pour my coffee. He pants as I slowly sip. He hopefully looks as I open my closet doors waiting for me to grab… Will she?… Won’t she? Sneakers! Yes! His awkward dance of whimper, whine and skip nearly trips me as I clip his leash upon his neck. Read the rest here.



  1. John Markotich

    That was very beautiful. It would help all of us if we just take a day for God & ourselves. Great words.

  2. […] Posts: • A Cure For Existing on Fumes • Weekly Refreshment? (Come On, Who Has Time For […]

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