When Sabbath Just Isn’t Possible

urlHello friends.

It was a very good weekend with my extended family in Arizona. It was fun to get reacquainted with my uncles, aunts and a few cousins, and to have some good conversations with Grandpa. It was also hard. My uncles look (and in some cases act) so much like Dad that I was doing emotional double-takes all weekend. It is cruel, how quickly and mercilessly he left us 10 years ago.

Grandma’s funeral was lovely, and I was humbled to be able to preach. As we made our way to the columbarium, we were treated to a bright Arizona sun and snow flurries at the same time. Wonderful.

But now I am back, and desperately tired. And the busyness has only just begun—I won’t bore you with the litany of stuff on the Dana family/career to-do list, but our calendar doesn’t give us an exhale until March 6 or so. It will come, but it’s gonna be Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride until then.

And let’s be honest: some times are like that. I have many friends who are asking me with all kindness when we will have a Sabbath. And the answer is, over the next several weeks, we will be measuring Sabbath in hours, not in days. And that’s just the way it is.

And I feel OK with that, because I am keeping two things in mind:

1. Living Sabbathly. When I was writing the book I was frustrated that there was no adverbial form of Sabbath, so I invented one. Sabbathly means “to live in the manner of Sabbath.” One can live in the busy times with a spirit of attentiveness and freedom. One can hurry without haste. One can move in time and space with a sense of openness and flow. One can laugh at the sheer too-muchness of it all. And one can trust that the crazy time will end.

2. Doing nothing extra. I picked up that phrase in a book about labor and childbirth. I think it had something to do with not tiring oneself out during early labor by obsessively cleaning house, etc. Rest up for the marathon that is to come—not just the labor but the baby boot camp that will follow. So for the next few weeks, I will do nothing extra. The non-essential tasks can wait, or I can delegate them to the floor.

What gets you through Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride?

5 thoughts on “When Sabbath Just Isn’t Possible

  1. bobraxton

    (do) “nothing extra” is my “rule of zero” – a “to do” with more item than that is too long – mine is a “to be” list with empty set

    Reply
  2. Mary Thorpe

    For me, it’s finding bits and pieces of Sabbath in the midst of it all. The past few weeks have been very jam-packed, and I was feeling myself get cranky and anxious about the lack of Sabbath rest yesterday – normally I take a nap on Sunday afternoon, but I had a special service to do at a nearby retirement community where several of my parishioners live, and I didn’t have time to nap and then revive myself. So I had a mini-silly-Sabbath: I watched back to back episodes of “Honey Boo Boo” (don’t judge me…) and knitted. My husband wandered in and said, “What the…? Going a little downscale, aren’t you?” And I said “I needed a break from being who I am and doing what I am doing, and this is it.” And it was enough of a steam valve that I made it through the rest of the day and was able to go upscale again with Downton Abbey later on…

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  3. Teri

    I wonder if there’s something here about the Lenten discipline of fasting that we could reclaim–because this is a crazy busy season for many people…perhaps that’s why giving something up seems so attractive. and why our Protestant “take something on!” sensibility so often becomes just one more chore on the list rather than a delight in God.

    (or maybe I’m just seeing my own blog post from today in everyone else’s. LOL.)

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Good Leaders Need a “To-Don’t” List | MaryAnn McKibben Dana

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