In our culture, achievement and productivity are valued as the benchmarks of success. If the answer to the question, “What do you do?” cannot be summed up in a job title or a listing of accomplishments, you are left feeling somehow hollow or having been dismissed as insignificant. Yet one can be just as negligent or distracted or untransformed in the busyness of work as in mundane pursuits or the ordinary activities of daily life. If the magic of music lies partly in the silent spaces between notes, the gift of grace may lie in the Sabbath moments between long hours of work and activity. Perhaps the way to find balance in this frenetic, compulsive culture is to perceive our lives not as straining to keep up with the tyranny of the marching drumbeat but attuning ourselves to the rhythm of the heartbeat— to focus not so much on making a living as composing a life and finding joy in its unfolding.
Be still and know that I am God.
Does your life have ”silent spaces between the notes?” Are you more focused on the strain of our culture than on composing a life? How can you make more time for finding joy in the unfolding of life?
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for in God is my hope.
And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.
Sabbath is an incubator for wisdom. When we allow the rush and pressure of our days to fall away, even for a short time, we are more able to discern the essential truth of what lies before us.
The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin.
In our culture we are trained to be doers and makers, not dreamers and seers. So I make an appeal for “holy leisure,” a leisure that makes us more human.
There is something holy-making about simply presuming that what happens to us in any given day is sent to awaken our souls to something new: another smell, a different taste, a moment when we allow ourselves to lock eyes with a stranger, to smile a bit, to nod our heads in greeting.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
The sacred is not in heaven or far away. It is all around us, and small human rituals can connect us to its presence.
Alma Luz Villanueva
Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.
There’s something to be said for sitting still and letting things clear, the way morning fog burns off the lake.
Wherever you live is your temple if you treat it like one.