When I was little, my family made an annual trek to the North Carolina Coast. I would step out of the car and drink in the heavy feel of the humid, salt air and revel in the sounds of cicadas’ deafening buzz. The week ahead promised rest for us all: lazy breakfasts, often concoctions of eggs, cheese and potatoes my brother fried up; piles of books to read; long days at the beach. We would climb dunes, walk the tide’s edge, fall asleep under a beach umbrella, dive for sand dollars, let gentle waves loll us practically to sleep, or high, strong waves quicken our sense of being alive. There was no schedule, no hurry. Nothing but rest and renewal for a glorious week.
I’m more of a mountain girl than a beach girl nowadays, and that’s where the best rest is happening for me. Any good mountain vacation promises hiking, walking and running in familiar, beloved places. The weather is cooler but more humid than our California summer has been so far. My husband and I sit together and read a pile of books (words cannot adequately express my excitement about Go Set a Watchman). We juggle quiet time and visits with family and friends. Most important, we rest.
If you’re looking for a great book about our need for a Sabbath rest, I highly recommend Wayne Muller’s Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives. In many ways, this book feels like taking a deep, fresh breath. It offers rest and encourages an outlook overhaul:
Sabbath is more than the absence of work; it is not just a day off, when we catch up on television or errands. It is the presence of something that arises when we consecrate a period of time to listen to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, or true. It is time consecrated with our attention, our mindfulness, honoring those quiet forces of grace or spirit that sustain and heal us. (8)
How can we better consecrate, honor, savor the blessings in our lives? In this season, are you creating moments that will sustain and heal you? What does Sabbath rest look like to you?