As many of you know, I have been reading Wayne Mueller’s book, Sabbath. The concept of sabbath is universal in all spiritual traditions. It is found in Christian, Hebrew, Buddhist, Islamic and Animist traditions, to name just a few. I found this part, which I have paraphrased, to be particularly meaningful to me.

Janie was visiting the home of an old potter of Santa Clara pueblo. She admired his collection of beautiful pots. She innocently asked: “How many do you have.” The old potter lowered his eyes, embarrassed to have been asked such a question. In a soft voice, he replied: “We do not count such things.”

Sabbath is a time when we break from our usual practice of counting quantifying and accumulating. How do you count friendship, laughter, honesty, the smell of bread fresh from the oven, the color of sunrise, a child’s hand in yours, a melody, a tear or the touch of those who love us? These precious things grow only in the soil of time. We can only begin to know their value when we stop counting.

Sabbath is a time when things that grow only in the soil of time are honored. In such a time, we can take deeper measure of our true wealth. If we do not stop counting, at least for some brief sabbath time, so that we can fully taste, serve, teach, talk or sit in silence with a loved one and allow time to do those things that are the blessings that issue only from rest, we shall become more impoverished that we shall ever know, or than we can ever know.

May you and those you love be at peace and enjoy your rest.


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