Sabbath time.

(Beautiful sunflowers from the sabbath garden space of dear friends Darlene and Bob.)

(Beautiful sunflowers from the sabbath garden space of dear friends Darlene and Bob.)

This weekend I carved out time I didn’t think I had. To spend time with dear friends, time breathing in salt air, eating fresh food and feeling the sand beneath my feet.

It is an odd quirk of mine – a defect of character perhaps – that tells me I am not worthy of sabbath time. At least not until that “one more thing” has been accomplished. The problem with that is there is always “one more thing.”

Because my beagles got to spend time in a swimming pool last evening, I too spent time in a swimming pool. My younger hound Blossom allowed me to carry her in to the water. She trusted me just enough. However, even as I held her close, she folded her neck and head against my neck, holding onto me as best she could.

The elder beagle Rose, on the other hand, also trusted the hands that held her as she entered the water. Rose kept very still but her beagle body was not at all tense. She did not lean into the human that held her. Instead she trusted those hands that lifted her up. She trusted the buoyancy of the water, even relaxed into it. She trusted the love of “the Other.”

After 18 hours of sabbath time, I find myself still with “one more thing” to do, but it isn’t worrisome. Though the time is short, I am no longer tense or anxious about it.

There is nothing on my plate or in my dreams that justifies ignoring the need for personal sabbath. My penance will be to experience more sand, more air, and more letting go, trusting the Love who made the Sabbath for humankind.

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
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