Tag Archives: sabbath

Ruminate, Recalibrate, Renew

compass wendybattino comI know I’m not the only one, but I have times when a day is so “busy” I can hardly remember what I’ve done in it, which end is up; times when I wish I slow down the pace of life so I can take a deep breath and take stock.  Sometimes I wish I had the time and the energy – at the same time – just to chew on an idea that’s been floating in and out of consciousness.  I want to step out of “regular time” with all that “has to be done” and be in a different kind of time,  in which I can just Be.

I do have those moments – when I remember to make time for them, when I am willing to let go of what I have become convinced are “have-to-dos”.  They give me a sense of connection to all that is; touch the infinite.  In these moments everything is whole and balanced, (sometimes it’s called ‘kairos’ time)*.  You probably have them too.  That quiet of the very early morning, sitting at night watching the stars, a child sleeping.  It’s that moment at the end of yoga, the ‘resting’ pose.  In kairos time, I remember, as a colleague once put it, that I am “a  human Being, not a human Doing”.

Lots of images: compasses need to be re-calibrated to True North. Wilderness time to let go of distractions that hold one captive. Leaving a field fallow to give the land a chance to renew.  Making Sabbath – a time to “do no work” – those chores that lead us into that go-go-go pace – and reorient to the vision of how the world could be if Compassion was our guiding principle for our actions.  Steeping oneself in Living Water, being nourished by Bread of Life.  A time to understand the holy message: Do not fear.

So this leave I am on is your gift to me of time away from “regular duties”.  It am offered the freedom to make space for this kairos time.  It’ll be like slowing down the merry-go-round – not because the ride isn’t enjoyable, but to see who else is on it, explore what other features there are, be fascinated by the tune of the calliope. A time to reboot, to nourish my spirit, mind and body which (like most other people) the run-of-life interferes with.

The “plan” is to ruminate on ideas I’ve only had a chance to skim; literally to chew on ideas that are trying to germinate.  To renew some disciplines in order to harness my energy differently so I can use it more effectively in my service here. To clear out some of the physical and internal detritus that makes me feel separated from the Holy, that inhibits me (or at least makes me unsure and unsteady) “shining my little light” in a good way. To recalibrate to my call of being here.

You folks of Cornerstone have given me this gift of sabbatical time; I do not take lightly.  I am profoundly grateful for this time to renew, to reboot, and be ready to come back to the work that I am called here to do.  Thank you.

~ ~ ~

*Mckinely Valentine has a great blog on “Kairos time”, which she describes as “the moment  after you’ve inhaled and are just about to exhale”; check it out mckinleyvalentine.com/kairos

** Image from: wendybattino.com




Stop. Pout. Be honest.

On vacation I walked a trail which almost did me in.  It seemed that after every uphill, there was either another hill, or the downside was steep and crisscrossed with major tree roots – you know, the kind that trip you up if you look at them sideways.roots-your-adreneline-fix-com  About halfway along the hike, having both insufficient insect repellent and water supply, I was tired, dry, welted up in the most peculiar places and pouty.

I knew I’d get to the end of the trail (cos what choice was there), but I wasn’t sure what shape I’d be in when I got there.  After my wee pout, a still, small voice said: “Enjoy
the break. See the view.  Smell the green. And then later we can look at why this hike is such a battle.”  Some time later, when I was honest with myself, I named the why and realized there was something I could do about it.  Just naming that gave me hope, and energy.  As I took small steps to act on that hope, I began healing; my journey to being Whole had re-started.

I know, the images are almost cliché: Life is an uphill climb, it’s fraught with things that can trip us up, we feel we have insufficient resources, our sense of self shrivels up.  But that’s why we need Sabbath, a time to Stop.  To look around, let the gratitude for the Life that is mine well up.  Then I can take an honest look at how I came to be in that spiritual place of exhaustion. (You, too?)  What is it that I do, think or feel that leads my soul to such injury? And how do I get to be restored to a sense of Wholeness?

A colleague says the spiritual journey is not seeking so much “holiness” as “Whole-i-ness”.* Is she right?

It’s as if we’re hiding our truest with those crisscrossing roots. We all developed a myriad ways of  burying the truth that “I” am valuable as a person regardless of my flaws. Our spirit’s journey is to recover, maybe uncover, that self, to see it as a gift, help it become Whole.  That path to Wholeness is not just for us alone; it brings both humility and confidence so that we can take our place in the world – neither inflated nor diminished. Whole-in-ness leads to Right-us-ness. But that process begins with stopping, pouting, and taking an honest look at oneself, and one’s actions (or inactions).

The path of life is still crisscrossed with all manner of things that could trip us up. But stopping can save us, so we can find Wholeness we seek. It’s hard work – which is why we need a group which shares our faith in that process, and encourages us in it.

What are the things that keep you from being your Whole self?  What trips you up? How have you buried your truest self? With whom are you, or do you need to be, in right relationship?  And who is your community of encouragement on that journey?

*gretta vosper in Amen: what prayer can mean in a world beyond belief, HarpurCollins 2013.

Image credit: your-adreneline-fix.com