11 August 2013

Quit...Stop...Take A Break

One of the best things we can do to cultivate a playful approach to life is to practice the ancient art of Sabbath-keeping. One benefit to keeping the Sabbath is that we cannot do so and take ourselves too seriously! What's more, when we stop working to rest, we are better able to attend to how God and the world works outside of our own compulsion to "control" and "manage" things. This attentiveness then leads to a sense of adoration, which we may more properly call worship. Eugene Peterson articulates these connections beautifully in his book Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places.
"The most striking thing about keeping the Sabbath is that it begins by not doing anything. The Hebrew word shabbat, which we take over into our language untranslated, simply means, "Quit...Stop...Take a break."
"As such, it has no religious or spiritual content: Whatever you are doing, stop it...Whatever you are saying, shut up...Sit down and take a look around you...Don't do anything...Don't say anything...Fold your hands...Take a deep breath. Creation is so endlessly complex and so intricately interconnected that if we are not very careful and deeply reverent before what is clearly way beyond us, no matter how well-intentioned we are, we will probably interfere, usually in a damaging way, with what God has done and is doing. So begin by not doing anything: attend, adore."*

*Peterson, Eugene. Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2005) p. 109.

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