Tag: sabbath

The work of learning to rest on the Sabbath

I have a confession. It takes a lot of work to keep the Sabbath day of rest. Why is it so hard to rest, one day out of seven? I know it is a commandment, I know that even the non-religious researchers purport the value of rest. Athletes know this. But, I get distracted by things — the internet is probably the biggest one for me. That and multi-tasking. You may be able to do two or three things at a time, but you can’t really listen to two things at a time. Your mind will focus on one, at the...

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Some Days, Sundays are Tough

Sometimes Sundays are tough days. When your kids are young, it is tough. When your kids are teenagers, it is tough. When you are an adult, it is tough. I feel like I have ADD on Sundays at church. So, I bring along my scirptures and usually a religious book. If my mind wonders then I can try to re-focus and read something new and thought provoking. I carry a little black book to write my thoughts down–a moleskine. Some lessons can be boring, but I usually try to contribute and be upbeat. Whatever age, when my kids did not feel like going, I would just tell them, “yea, I know, it’s hard for me to go sometimes too, but we go to take the Sacrament and keep the commandments. And you’ll feel better afterwards.” That always worked, me just agreeing, that, “yes, it is tough sometimes, for me too.” Today is one of those days. I sat down to look at my face, 56 years of age in the mirror and see what I could do to look my best for Sunday. I reached for the tweezers, then I remembered that my very nice, stainless steel, expensive tweezers had been donated to  the the tick removal program for the dogs, and now they were soaking in bleach, and frankly, I don’t want to use them anymore. Unless I get...

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The Sabbath Day of Rest

The Sabbath is the day of rest. Rest from our work. This morning I struggled to get my spiritual self in harmony with the Sabbath, a day set apart from the “profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil.” Especially since it is fast sunday, I am struggling to get my physical self in tune with the day. I have this little book called “The Sabbath” by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Yes, he was a Professor of Ethics and Mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The tribe of Judah often has pearls of truth in their ancient teachings. Herschel talks about the commandment, “six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work.” He admits that your work is never done. You always have unfinished work that needs to be done. He then emphasizes that you should “Rest on the Sabbath as if all your work were done…Rest even from the thought of labor.” As an example he shares this little story: There once was a pious man who took a stroll in his vineyard, and finding part of his fence down decided that he would mend it when the Sabbath was over. But at the end of the Sabbath day (sundown saturday) he decided that since the thought of repairing the fence came to him on the Sabbath, he would never repair it. I had to...

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Monday and Cast Out of Eden

As the Sabbath rolls over to the start of a new week, I am, at my age and time, a little sad to see it over so soon. I would have never felt this way when I was younger. Now, the Sabbath is not long enough. There is so much I wanted to read, family to visit. So many things I did not want to think about or have to deal with–all those things that are staring me down this Monday morning. And that feeling that I need to take action. The responsibilities of life are overwhelming. The uncertainty...

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