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Cherishing Sabbath moments

By   /   May 13, 2010  /   Comments

I am writing this as I sit down outside the place where I am vacationing. It is a beautiful day, exquisite in every way. The sky is crystal clear and perfect blue. I can hear the waves from the gulf gently crash against the coastline. Birds are flying overhead, and the breeze blows through my hair and enlivens me.

In the Hebrew language the word for Spirit and wind is the same word. I am always amazed at the wisdom of the Hebrew people for concluding that such a word should be one in the same. When the wind blows I am sure those ancient people were always reminded that God was with them, in Spirit if in no other way at that moment. And as I hear the gulf declare its power while the wind blows and the beauty of the moment declares to me the majesty of love and glory that can only be found in creation, I am also reminded of God resting when creation was completed.

I am convinced God rested not because of exhaustion but because of exuberance. There must have been an awesome delight that God felt in those first moments things were completed. When those first waves went crashing into those first shores. When those first stars twinkled and those first birds sang their choruses of joy. When those first flowers bloomed and those first people walked through this paradise we call Earth smiling, or not smiling, but hopefully full of wonder at all that surrounded them.

I was told before going on this vacation that I should turn everything off, cell phones, computer, whatever else that may distract me, and I am sure that someone will read this and think, “I told him not to work while he was away … ” This is not work though this is a celebration, and I cannot help but share it, because it is too good to experience alone. I get to sit for a couple of moments and experience the pure ecstasy of creation, and by God’s grace if nothing else, perhaps I get a sense, however brief, of what God must have sensed when it was all done. And that sense as far as I can tell is the pure pleasure of it all, and wherever pure pleasure is there is also love.

Maybe that command to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy is what I am experiencing right now. Those few moments we all should take to step away from the busyness of life to recall that life is so much more than what we do each day. Occasionally life is also just taking it easy. To know that we can take a break from the busyness, knowing that the world worked just fine before we existed and somehow will work just fine when we stop breathing, and thereby will go on even if we stop for a moment and just celebrate the glory of it all.

I wonder how much of my life I sat trying to kill time. It is an awful phrase, “killing time,” because the truth of the matter, whether or not we live like it, and we often don’t, is that we only get one life to live. We know that deep inside most of us think that one life to live is enough a lot of the time. The busyness of life has become for us all that life is, and we long for some kind of rest from it all, some type of break, and we ponder if that break will be death. That final moment we all share but no one really understands, other than to know that the busyness will be over and rest will finally come. Therefore even in those moments we could celebrate all that life offers, which is to say much more than busyness, we sit killing time, or not sitting but still killing it in someway to get to that next moment of busyness that we have convinced ourselves is the purpose of life

But I sit here right now overflowing with joy in this moment when I am not killing time, but wishing with all that I was that life could go on forever, because in some moments when the wind rushes through my hair and I can feel that ancient Hebrew wisdom that God is with me in Spirit I want life to go on forever. I feel like I don’t want to kill time anymore, because when I kill it I will never get it back. Jesus said, “I came to that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

So I write this on my vacation not because I am working, but because I have to write down how abundant life is before I get back to the busyness and maybe forget. Should I forget, I’ll have this to look back on and remember how important those Sabbath moments are when God and I sit together and remember that the work will always be there, but I will not, so it is good to enjoy all that there is for at least for a moment. This moment where God and I smile together, and whisper about how it is all so good.


Written by Rev. Garrett Andrew, minister of First Presbyterian Church of Albany, Georgia. Read his blog.

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  • Published: 1938 days ago on May 13, 2010
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  • Last Modified: May 9, 2010 @ 9:35 am
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Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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