Practicing the Better: Sabbath #5

The rest we find in sabbath and the restoration it provides enable us to return to the regular responsibilities with a sense of freshness and invigoration.  Sabbath is not an end, but rather a recurring means to the end of living abundantly, which we cannot do if we fall prey to an unceasing round of feverish activities.

We return from sabbath “in our right mind.” Our Buddhist friends understand this better than many Christians, for mindfulness is a key characteristic in their spirituality.  It is meant to be so for us too–indeed, for anyone who wants to live with perspective and the benefits it provides.  Mindfulness enables us to walk in a relaxed manner (Joyce Rupp) and from that place of peace, kindness and compassion flow.

We also return from sabbath to “do our right work.”. We call it vocation.  We have been given spiritual gifts and natural talents to put to work for our livelihoodvand for the good of others.  The Wesleyan Covenant prayer says, “Christ has many services to be done.” You and I have ours–our respective territories in which to be instruments of God’s peace.  Sabbath helps us return to our location with a renewed sense of God’s call on our work.

In all the ways we have explored sabbath, and more, we find that it is indeed a means for practicing the better.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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