This week in my Sabbath-keeping I decided that I was going to maintain reading in a coffee shop. One of the reasons that I like reading in a coffee shop so much is the community that naturally begins to form as you sit and enjoy coffee. There are baristas with interesting stories, people studying fascinating topics, and there are people that are willing to invite you into conversation. Sometimes our conversations drift into ideas of faith and the God that I have learned to trust and how they see the world and the divine. It sometimes is simple and is a conversation about the last movie that one of us saw. The funny thing is that I go to read so I can have some peace and alone time…but I go to a coffee shop so that I can do so in a community. To many people this sounds like a contradiction, but to me it makes sense.
The joy of taking my “spirited rest” in the coffee shop is that it provides balance for me. I can be in my book, and reading and enter into the world that the author is creating. Sometimes that is exactly what I need and what I desire. On these days I sit at my table and drink my coffee and ignore the world around me. Other days I barely get any reading in because I want to engage the other people around me in conversation about politics, religion, and the date they went on last night. The coffee shop, for me, provides a place where balance is welcomed. Sabbath is designed to help us experience what the reign of God will be like. Maybe it will be like a coffee shop, and I we all can live in balance.