Spend Some Time

I recently took the time to read “The Sabbath” by Abraham Joshua Heschel which was written in 1951. I may not be technically correct, but it seems to me this book is a collection of meditations offered as a series of short essays. I have seen it often referenced as a reflection on Jewish spirituality and a focus on the meaning of that Seventh Day known as the Sabbath, or Shabbat in Jewish culture. I was drawn to the book as an opportunity to seek a vantage point from an Eastern perspective as opposed to a Western perspective regarding this Holy day of scripture.

Consisting of roughly 100 pages, one must not assume this is a quick read. As this blog suggest, I read this book while enjoying several cups of coffee, kombucha, and various snacks over a couple weeks of time. An “essay” would be read, followed by various stretches of time considering and pondering, and even occasionally re-reading the “essay”. It is certainly a book that invites an individual to spend some time within its pages; and a lot of thought and perspective on the topic of time. The opening sentence in the Prologue leans into the textual journey, “Technical civilization is man’s conquest of space.” This sets his tone for viewing Sabbath and its associated connection with rest, in that this pursuit of conquering space is pursued by the frequent sacrificing of time, our essential “ingredient” of existence.

The following quote caused me to pause in my reading and consider the true reward for pursuit of a day when rest is pursued:

 “There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord.”

I’m not intending to break that quote apart and “teach” or “explain”; my intention is to invite you to just reflect on the quote and place it within the context of your choice. Ask yourself the same question I did, “If I were to spend time towards those listed goals in that statement, would that be rest?” What would a day look like pursuing those goals? Could there be such a “thing” as creating space in lieu of conquering space?

I know that before I retired, I spent a good portion of a “life-time” where I would very seldom “relax” because I felt time was about “doing” and at the end of some “period” of time I had to show what I created in “my space”. But let’s consider, searching outwardly and inwardly, and meditate on the above quote from Heschel. Do this intentionally in a time of “rest”, and I would suggest… with a nice cup of coffee… but construct your environment of relaxation to fit you…..