Savoring the Sabbath

A timely cure for our harried and hurried times is a Scripture that is always in season: “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” For too many, remembering the Sabbath has been a drudgery more than a delight, yet it was designed to be a blessing not a curse.

Indeed, it is a timeless solution for modern maladies like sleep deprivation and other stress disorders. For as Gordon Dahl noted, “Most middle class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship.”

Judith Shulevitz, writing in The New York Times, observed that “the Sabbath, the one day in seven dedicated to rest by divine command, has become the holiday Americans are most likely never to take.”

In her articulate call to savor the Sabbath, Shulevitz suggested that, “the Sabbath is to the week what the line break is to poetic language. It is the silence that forces you to return to what came before to find its meaning. We have to remember to stop because we have to stop to remember.”

I am reminded often of the mantra from my favorite jazz station: “relax, refresh, renew.” Such words of wisdom may fall on deaf ears much of the time, but to me it is not only music to my ears but also a salve for my soul.