Grace and Peace to you.
We’re back from a couple of weeks of vacation. People ask, “What did you do?” Well, mostly we drove our son and his stuff from D.C. to Minnesota for grad school. (Yeah, lots of driving. And, just having moved ourselves, we did a lot of moving in. Painting and cleaning, just for something new.) But the best part was that for a few days we sat around with two of the boys at a lake cabin and did nothing. No hiking, jet-skiing, shopping, sightseeing, or even watching TV—that would have been too much work. Just sleeping, sitting around, reading books, napping, playing games, and being with each other. Sort of like Sabbath.
That’s what vacation is: vacancy, empty time. Time in which you’re not doing, just being. This is the meaning of Sabbath. The sixth day of creation was not the last time God took a vacation. Oh, my gosh! Is that why my prayers don’t get answered? No, listen: when God rested on the sixth day, God did not cease to be the Creator. God was still being God. God’s being is not dependent on any kind of doing. When Moses asked God’s name, God said, “I don’t have a name, a handle, a description. I just AM. I BE.” God’s nature is Sabbath: Being, without the need for doing at all. Just as God is still creating every day, God is also resting every day. At the heart of all that God is doing, God is most profoundly simply being.
When we take a vacation or a day off, unless we fill up the time, we can enter into that Sabbath Being. In fact, we can do that any time. We can pause and take a breath. We can simply be present. That’s what prayer is: not entering into some activity of talking, but entering into the pure being of God. Right this moment, sitting there reading this computer screen, you are not “dong” anything, just being here, sitting with God. You are entering into that sacred space, that sanctuary of God’s nature and God’s presence, purely being with God. That’s the holy of holies.
If today is a work day for you, I hope you get something done. But I also hope that, at least a little, you get nothing done. Do nothing, and do it well! Simply be present, and be with God. Let that being infuse all of your doing as well, until you are perfectly present.
Some time today, have a great vacation.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes