I am about 100 yards away from the beach. But I can’t quite get there. A few more things to read, memos to send, projects to complete. I look forward to the feel of the sand in my toes and the sound of the ocean rhythm. But I resist letting go of my important tasks a little longer.
The transition from work to play, from productivity to rest seems to be the sticking point. How do we release our inner drive to create and return to the presence of the one who created it all? I wonder if God knew this would be tricky for us humans. I wonder if God realized that some of us would not use up our allotted vacation days and some of us would neglect the impulse to rest and play, sing and pray.
Long before their were corporate demands, the internet’s instant communication stream or round the clock shopping opportunities on Amazon, the ancient people established a rhythm of resting every seven days. No picking grain or moving the camels or baking pita bread. I wonder if this was a kind of “forced stop,” so that they could simply enjoy being together: laughing around a table of grapes and hummus, telling stories and sharing sorrows with family and friends. Or walking on the beach, just to hear the waves and marvel at the beauty. They called this ritual “Sabbath.” It began at sundown with the lighting of candles and reciting of traditional prayers. And it lasted until the next sundown. Can you imagine a full 24 hours every week of pure presence and no chores?
After God created for six whole days: mountains and bears, stars and planets, wild flowers and arugula, waterfalls and beaches, God took a break. “On the seventh day God rested.” I have to remind myself that the one who created it all, the one with the biggest job of all, the one who loves like no one has ever loved before, even that one… took a break.
Off to the beach,