Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sabbath - Stop

Sabbath is about taking time out. It's about stopping. It's about reflecting. It's about attending to things personal and introspective, while attending to the Reality that there is more to life than the mundane dailyness.

I happen to be at a theological conference as I pen these words today. I have spent the entire day among great thinkers who have taken time to reflect on important themes, issues, perspectives that emerge from the Bible and shape theological perspectives. But there has been little time for worship of God in the midst of the theological conversation about God.

I took a few minutes this afternoon and walked in the path of the campus labyrinth. Labyrinths have been viewed as “suspect” and "scary" and even "Satanic" by many in Christian traditions. I think that is too bad. Not because I think Labyrinths are necessary good things – but they seem completely a-moral and a-sinful and a-problematic. A Labyrinth is no more a “tool” or a “path” or a “way” of being spiritual than walking a path through the woods (which I much prefer) – or walking a path down the sea-shore (which I definitely much prefer!) – or walking a path of pilgrimage, for example, down the via dolorosa in Jerusalem. Labyrinths are paths and on them – we come back and forth – rotating toward the center and then away from the center.

I have already admitted that I'm not very good a Sabbath. I am not very good at things that take deep reflection in spiritual ways. I wish I were better at it. I’m not patient enough for it. Too much activity. Too much restlessness. Too much busy-ness.

The Labyrinth was not a means of worship for me today – but it was a way to reflect again on the criss-cross-back-and-forth-rest-less paths of my day – and to be reminded that there is something more – and some Reality – more at the Center of life than talk of the Bible or talk of theology.

At the Center is the Creator – and it is toward worship and obedience of this Center that all our lives should give attention.

We should all stop more – more frequently, more deliberately – to stop – to stop – to stop – stop ceasing, striving, working, thinking, writing, projecting, talking – to worship.

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