Updated: Sep 9, 2019
I took some time off recently. I mostly spent the time accompanying my son back to college in Washington, D.C. as well as visiting my sister and brother-in- law in Maryland. One of those days, I took a mini retreat and went apart awhile to spend time in the silence and commune with nature.
As I reflected on the importance of taking retreat time, I thought about the creation story. In this allegorical tale, it states that after God created the earth, on the seventh day God rested. Of course the writers of this story did not intend for this story to be taken literally, in which an omnipotent God created the world in seven days and on the seventh day was so tired he had to take a break. The creation story symbolizes the creative process.
The number seven represents a process of completion. The seventh day, known as the Sabbath, is when all personal efforts cease and we rest in a state of being. It is in this state that we recognize that it is not the “doing” that is important, but allowing the Spirit to do the work. It is in this state that we release ourselves from all belief in our own work, and rest in the awareness that "God in me does the work”. This is often the most important part in any endeavor – resting in the Spirit.
This principle has a practical application in our own lives. There comes a time that we must rest from mere doing and allow the Spirit to do the work. There is a natural cycle to life that includes alternating between outer effort and resting in the consciousness of God. When we rest in God, we have the backing of the entire universe behind us. We receive the guidance to take the next step. We are able to see how the parts are coming together. We access spiritual insight, and solutions to what appear to our human eyes to be problems.
Taking periodic respites and engaging in prayer and meditation during our times of effort yields great benefits to our outer experiences. When we take periodic pauses and essential breaks throughout our day, we find that we end up exerting less and less human effort and getting more and more positive results. Our life can become an effortless effort.
It all starts by following the admonition to be “still and know that I am God in the midst of you”. We can do this by taking periodic pauses of half a minute every half an hour throughout the day, and essential breaks of two or three minutes several times throughout the day. Such pauses and breaks will help renew us and revitalize us and allow the all-powerful Spirit to enter and run our life.
As we go through life, we need not wait for special days to benefit from the power of the Sabbath. We have the opportunity to get the benefits of the Sabbath every day.
Peace & Blessings,