Then Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath.” ~ Mark 2:27 (The Message)

On Monday, I drove to the high country to clear my head and my heart. Life and all its demands—responsibilities, relationships, health concerns, grief work, raising kids, caring for parents—can weigh heavily on us and parch our souls. Younger people say, “I need a reset.” I like to say, “I need some Sabbath time.”

Wayne Muller writes, “Sabbath time is time off the wheel, time when we take our hand off the plow and let God and the earth care for things, while we drink, if only for a few moments, from the fountain of rest and delight.”

Do we intentionally take time for rest, renewal, and delight in the busy lives we live? Do we take time to move beneath the surface of our fears and anxieties and soak in the waters of Grace?

When we faithfully enter sabbath time, we let our worries, fears, and anxiety go for a few hours or a day. We trust that the world will be fine in God’s hands, and we enjoy the life-giving beauty of a swallowtail dancing with the wind, or we look deeply into a yellow daisy until we realize it is looking back at us with the same joy.

“Sabbath is more than the absence of work; it is not just a day off when we catch up on television or errands. It is the presence of something that arises when we consecrate a period of time to listen to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, or true. It is time consecrated with our attention, our mindfulness,” writes Muller.

I drove up to Molas Pass and took the first dirt road leading west to Little Molas Lake and the Colorado Trail. I rounded the last bend of the bumpy road and my heart leaped with joy—the parking lot was nearly empty. The sanctuary that is the Weminuche Wilderness would be alive with the sound of music.

Like I often do, I walked quickly up the trail like I had a train to catch, a meeting to attend, or a problem to solve. The trail steepened and I picked up my pace. I can conquer this hill if I have the right mind set. I gasped for air and my body told my egoic mind to slow down.

“Sabbath gives us permission; it commands us to stop,” says Muller.

My restless mind and body slowed down for the first time. Cumulus clouds rolled across the sky like ancient scrolls ready to be read. The soft breeze caressed my face. Yellow, red, and purple wildflowers painted the high mountain meadow in grandeur. I stopped again, breathed, and tried to take it all in.

“We live in an enchanted universe,” says Rohr. “Before the human incarnation of God in Jesus, there was the first and original incarnation through light, water, land, sun, moon, stars, plants, trees, fruit, birds, serpents, cattle, fish, and every kind of wild beast according to Genesis 1:3-25.”

Or, as the nineteenth-century poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.” Sabbath time nurtures our spirit and our souls and gives light to our breath.

In Sabbath, we start seeing the world from the eyes of Christ and it is good and beautiful, and yes there is great pain and suffering. But beauty and grace lead us down a different path towards healing, reconciliation, and wholeness.

We must take time to restore our souls and our vision of the world. “In Sabbath time we remember to celebrate what is beautiful and sacred,” writes Muller. “Within this sanctuary, we become available to the insights and blessings of deep mindfulness that arise only in stillness and time.”

When we are more mindful, we are more patient and present with our children, our friends, and our spouses. We have more time to listen deeply and more time to enjoy the sunset. Sabbath time nurtures healing space and we respond to life with more grace and less violence.

Do we breathe in our Creator’s wisdom and truth?

A stream cascading down the mountain crossed the trail. I could not just walk over it on steppingstones. I got down on my hands and knees and cupped some water which I poured over the back of my neck. I placed more water on my arms and then I made the sign of the cross on my forehead. I filled my water bottle with “living water” (see John 4:10), drank deeply from the stream of rest and delight, and I gave thanks. It was well with my soul.

“Love can flow towards us in every moment: through a flower, in a grain of sand, in a wisp of cloud, in a stream, in any one person who we allow to delight in us. We might be experiencing this flow of love when we find ourselves smiling at things for no apparent reason,” Rohr says.

In Sabbath, we slow down and allow the breath of God to replenish our souls. We receive the gift of living water and generously pass it on. We let the river flow through us.

When we are tired, may we rest. May we remember the Sabbath, remember who we are, and remember the beauty of the earth. May we see, taste, and hear the gifts of the Spirit. May Sabbath restore our souls.

Blessings and peace,


Posted in Meditations.