This past Summer, the pastors of Sojourn blessed me with a three month sabbatical. Several people asked me what I did on my break:
- What I wrote
- What I accomplished
…and I told them the same thing every time: absolutely nothing. This was a time to put work down and bring restoration to my soul. I just journeyed through a short passage of scripture each week, meditating on the same verse daily, and answered a few reflective questions a pastor friend had prepared for me.
Besides my Bible, I read A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 by Wendell Berry. These are poems from Berry’s own Sunday morning “walking meditations.” I read this poem often:
Whatever is forseen in joy
Must be lived out from day to day.
Vision held open in the dark
By our ten thousand days of work.
Harvest will fill the barn; for that
The hand must ache, the face must sweat.
And yet no leaf or grain is filled
By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,
Great work is done while we’re asleep.
When we work well, a Sabbath mood
Rests on our day, and finds it good.
In this poem, he captures the essential rhythms of work and rest: good work leads to good rest and good rest leads to good work.
- How do you trust that great work is done when you’re asleep?
- Do you have a “sabbath day”?