“Shabbat is an island away from secular intrusions on my spiritual world,” Rabbi Olitzky and Rabbi Judson go on to say that Sabbath was originally created to build the temple. What was once a day set aside to built sacred space has become a day to build sacred time: slowing down, resting and appreciating the blessing of time.
Secular means things of the physical world. These 30 days of rest are highly attuning me to my physical needs. As I retreat from technology, private practice, and scheduled commitments, I am aware that my physical body needs a lot of attention.
In addition to rest, my body is aching to eat good food, to walk outside, to stretch and sit up straight, to breathe deeply. The concept of taking care of our physical needs used to be what we prioritized the other six days of the week. We used to call that work. We were designed to work in order to get what we needed.
Sabbath was the time to take a break from all of that work and acknowledge that we are not the Creator, we are simply participants in this world. We set aside that one day to remember there is something bigger holding us, a day to remind us that the beauty of our lives is not the sum parts of our making.
In our recent downsize extravaganza, we have given away, thrown away, and consigned more stuff that I could have ever imagine owning in my life much less getting rid of. What has been surprising to me is that, in the end, we still had things we needed to buy.
In all of that excess, it was hard to see what was missing.
The Sabbath ritual is near and dear to me. It is everything I love about life, about the holy, about family, about honor. When I read about it or hear others talk about it, all my cells do a happy dance. Even though the “Sabbath is an island away from secular concerns” it also comes waving a red flag that I need to be taking care of physical things that are under my care the rest of the week.
These are some of the questions we asked ourselves while determining our needs in this stage of life:
What do we need?
How is our work helping to get us that?
How much money do we really need each month?
How much connection do we have that is nourishing us and how much is just clicking and sending?
Are we getting our needs met?
How are we getting our needs met?
Is it working?
What things are standing in the way of us seeing what we really need?