Friday, February 7, 2014

24-Hour Deep Breath (or, Why is Sabbath So HARD?)



One of the things we regularly notice, as we are "keeping Sabbath" around my house and in our congregation, is how hard it is.  You'd think that telling people to put things down and rest would sound like good news.  And it does sound like good news. But it is so not easy to do.  As Louis CK points out, we've kind of forgotten how to just be a person.

So, we need help not doing.
We need other people who are not doing with us, and who will check in and see how our not doing is going.
We need some help launching ourselves into a luxurious pile of not doing and then need help staying there, not crawling out to go do something when the urge arises - which happens like every forty seconds, at first.

Sabbath time is for rest.
It's for connection and play and quiet and things that bring you joy and feed your soul.
It is for stopping whatever ordinarily keeps you captive - work, worry, anxiety, unfinished projects, the ever present 'to do' list, mindless distractions and relentless multitasking, guilt and pressure to be 'productive'.  Just stopping all that.  Putting it down for a bit.  Just being a person.

And it is a time for space and spaciousness.
Slowed down and opened up.
Gentleness with yourself.
Noticing God's presence in the world.
Seeing these people you love right in front of your face who are usually mostly blocking your path while you're busy doing. Being a person with them.

The other thing is, though, that while it is super hard to keep to our commitment to not do for that day, we also keep finding that when we really do our not doing, something wonderful happens.
When we really allow ourselves to stop
and take a proper breath,
time seems to stretch out and welcome us in.
We are suddenly awake to our lives and the world, and the space we hold open fills up with gratitude.  We remember a little it's kind of great that we get to be a person, and God meets us in ordinary and extraordinary ways.
I am not exaggerating when I say this.  
This happens.

So, if you've never really tried sabbath in an intentional way, and would like to, or if you want to be launched into a Day of Not Doing with some direction and support, and some accountability that there are other people who've agreed to also not do and so you're in this thing together, I want to invite you to something.

Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church is hosting a 24-Hour Deep Breath.

This time around, it is for Twin Cities folks, and we've got 50 spots available.

How about it? Want to try out a day of Not Doing? 

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