The Art of Sabbath: The Empty


The Empty

“For some people, emptiness can feel fertile and spacious, alive with possibility, as a womb is ripe for the child to come. But others feel emptiness as an ache, a void; something painful, in need of being filled.” ~Sabbath (p. 50)

Since my 30 days of rest, I am more comfortable with the empty spaces in my life. They don’t seem so unfinished as they are ripe with possibility. Sometimes the blank walls or not quite right decorations can even feel like testimonies to my time and energy being spent on something else. Not necessarily something more important, mostly just something else.

In my experiment with rest, I touched down on both of Muller’s descriptions of what emptiness can feel like. There were days that my empty hours felt alive and days that it felt like an ache.

Most of us are, “far more anxious about having to confront whatever will come up in the empty space, when we are quiet and alone. Who knows what terror lurks in the anonymous solitude? What voices will arise in the silence? At the very same time, people are afraid of what will not come up. What if I have no vision at all? What if there is nothing of value in my heart and soul, no strength, no voice of guidance, no wisdom at all-just an empty hollow echo?” (p.51)

Letting go.

Settling down.

Being still.

Not doing.

It’s terrifying and painful.

And it’s enlightening and beautiful.

“Only when we take refuge in rest can we feel the company of the angles that would minister to us, regardless of what we {find in our emptiness}.

In the stillness there are forces and voices and hands and nourishment that arise, that take our breath away, but we can never know this, {really} know this, until we rest.” (p.53)

Click here to order your own copy of Sabbath: The Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller.

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