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9/19 Elul 24
“No spiritual tradition says that God wants us to be exhausted. No scripture says we’re supposed to be totally burned out. Almost every scripture says that the fruit of life is joy being happy in all that we have been given and all that arises in the course of human life. There are sorrows, but the more spacious we become, the more joyful we become in being able to embrace everything.
The Sabbath has a joyful uselessness to it.
We are not supposed to accomplish anything of any significance so that we can stop looking for what’s not there and have the time to drink from what’s already here. When we’re on the wheel of constant work, our eye is on the next thing that has to be done, what hasn’t been accomplished yet.
Sabbath is a time to eat what you’ve cooked, to harvest what you’ve planted and to give thanks for what you’ve been given. It’s a time to bless our loved ones and to eat, drink, and make love.
The sensual delight associated with Sabbath reminds us that one of the fruits of spiritual practice is useless happiness.”
So writes Wayne Muller, minister, author and guardian of the sabbath as our season of sacred rest.
On this last Sabbath of 5774, before the Shmita year – Sabbath of Sabbath begins, with its challenging gift of rest and release, I want to focus on my own Shabbat and how I can utilize this vital tool of ‘useless happiness’ with more depth and commitment. Which sabbaths nourished my soul this past year and are memorable, what kind of sabbaths do I want to celebrate in the coming year. What will I take on and what can I temporarily remove from life each week to reground myself and those around me in the sacred sense of being?