(This post is reprinted from the most recent edition of our St. Thomas church newsletter....re-cycling or lazy? Hmmmm....I'll get back to you on that)
Wayne Muller writes in his wonderful book, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest, “Prayer is like a portable Sabbath, when we close our eyes for just a moment and let the mind rest in the heart. [W]e can be stopped by a bell, a sunset, a meal, and we can pray.” But, I would add, first we have to allow space in our lives to be stopped by that bell, sunset, or meal. I am preaching to myself here as well my friends!
Surely there is no culture on earth busier than Americans! Lives full of work, family, school responsibilities and activities piled on top of activities. We have access to news and weather twenty-four hours a day. Our technology makes it possible to trick ourselves into thinking we are “multi-tasking” when really what we are trying to do is fill our daily hours with too much.
In such a frenzied life it is easy to lose the meaning of Sabbath and deep rest. And when we lose an understanding of Sabbath, time set apart to be still, it’s easy to lose the “communion power” of prayer too.
If we see prayer as something more than just asking God for things we want, then we can begin to re-claim the deep Sabbath notion of prayer. For in prayer what we really are after is relationship, communion with God. And, like in any relationship, we must spend time with the other. We must listen more than we talk! We must, “let the mind rest in the heart.” Allow yourselves to be stopped this day. Begin a practice now of taking time just to be. Taking time to breathe deeply and let the presence of God wash over you and give you Sabbath time, even on a random weekday! Peace, the Rev. Rhoda S. Montgomery