Daily Riches: What Happens in Stillness (Mark Buchanan)

“Sabbath living orients us toward that which, apart from rest, we will always miss. The root idea of Sabbath is simple as rain falling, basic as breathing. It’s that all living things – and many nonliving things too – thrive only by an ample measure of stillness. A bird flying, never nesting, is soon plummeting. Grass trampled, day after day, scalps down to the hard bone of the earth. Fruit constantly inspected bruises, blights. …a saw used without relenting – its teeth never filed, its blade never cooled – grows dull and brittle; a motor never shut off gums with residue or fatigues from thinness of oil – it sputters, it stalls, it seizes. Even companionship languishes without seasons of apartness. God stitched into the nature of things an inviolable need to be left alone now and then. The primary way people receive this aloneness and stillness is, of course, through sleep. We can defy slumber only so long … past a certain point, we collapse. We must submit to sleep’s benign tyranny, enter its inescapable vulnerability and solitariness. …The tricky thing about Sabbath, though, is it’s a form of rest unlike sleep. Sleep is so needed that, defied too long, our bodies inevitably, even violently, force the issue. Sleep eventually waylays all fugitives. It catches you and has its way with you. Sabbath won’t do that. Resisted, it backs off. Spurned, it flees. It’s easy to skirt or defy Sabbath, to manufacture cheap substitutes in its place – and to do all that, initially, without noticeable damage, and sometimes, briefly, with admirable results. It’s easy, in other words, to spend most of your life breaking Sabbath and never figure out that this is part of the reason your work’s unsatisfying, your friendships patchy, your leisure threadbare, your vacations exhausting. We simply haven’t taken time. We’ve not been still long enough, often enough, to know ourselves, our friends, our family. Our God.” Mark Buchanan

“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God….” Hebrews 4:9

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you bring your best self to your projects? your relationships?
  • If not, are you too exhausted or preoccupied even to care?
  • Have you “been still long enough, often enough” to know yourself, your friends, your family – your God?

Abba, help me relax and enjoy the rest you offer.

For More: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Activism Requires Contemplation (Wayne Muller and Chris Heuertz) *

“I have sat on dozens of boards and commissions with many fine, compassionate, and generous people who are so tired, overwhelmed, and overworked that they have neither the time nor the capacity to listen to the deeper voices that speak to the essence of the problems before them. Presented with the intricate and delicate issues of poverty, public health, community well-being, and crime, our impulse, born of weariness, is to rush headlong toward doing anything that will make the problem go away. Maybe then we can finally go home and get some rest. But without the essential nutrients of rest, wisdom, and delight embedded in the problem-solving process itself, the solution we patch together is likely to be an obstacle to genuine relief. Born of desperation, it often contains enough fundamental inaccuracy to guarantee an equally perplexing problem will emerge as soon as it is put into place. In the soil of the quick fix is the seed of a new problem, because our quiet wisdom is unavailable.” Wayne Muller

“My rhythms have become clearer over the years. I know I need:
Sabbath for Rest
Retreats for Reflection
Vacations for Recreation
Sabbaticals for Renewal.
“And if I don’t make rhythms for rest, reflection, recreation and renewal then all of these opportunities will inevitably be wasted on recovery.”
Chris Heuertz

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Years ago Lewis Grant coined the phrase “sunset fatigue” to describe the exhausted state in which many arrive home at the end of a day. Do you often feel like you’re done before the day is?
  • Exhaustion sabotages much of what we do, not only at home after “sunset”, but in business settings, community service or in the work of social justice. Can you relate?
  • Muller and Heuertz both insist that we need to regularly stop, rest, delight and contemplate – essentially that self-care must precede any kind of usefulness. Does your life reflect this truth?

Abba, lead me regularly into the sabbath rest you have for me, and help me to live out of that. Impress upon me the need to care for myself well if I’m to be of any use to others.

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For More: Sabbath by Wayne Muller

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“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against.” (Malcolm X)  I love these words of Malcolm X , but I don’t agree with everything he’s said, written or done. The same is true for those who show up on the pages of Daily Riches. Eventually, writers and teachers from many diverse backgrounds will make an appearance here, and I offer their insights to you without any kind of vetting for “orthodoxy.” Sometimes we learn the most from those with whom we differ, and to turn only to those who are always right or reliable would eliminate everyone. My working assumption in Daily Riches is that the spirit of God will lead you into all truth. So I hope you’ll read, seeking to have your “truth” challenged, critiqued, and improved – and that a priori you’ll be for the truth no matter who tells it. That’s difficult but always worth the effort. Thanks for reading and sharing my daily blog. Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Contemplation and Activism (Wayne Muller)

“I have sat on dozens of boards and commissions with many fine, compassionate, and generous people who are so tired, overwhelmed, and overworked that they have neither the time nor the capacity to listen to the deeper voices that speak to the essence of the problems before them. Presented with the intricate and delicate issues of poverty, public health, community well-being, and crime, our impulse, born of weariness, is to rush headlong toward doing anything that will make the problem go away. Maybe then we can finally go home and get some rest. But without the essential nutrients of rest, wisdom, and delight embedded in the problem-solving process itself, the solution we patch together is likely to be an obstacle to genuine relief. Born of desperation, it often contains enough fundamental inaccuracy to guarantee an equally perplexing problem will emerge as soon as it is put into place. In the soil of the quick fix is the seed of a new problem, because our quiet wisdom is unavailable.” Wayne Muller

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Years ago Lewis Grant coined the phrase “sunset fatigue” to describe the exhausted state in which so many arrive home at the end of a work day. Do you often feel like you’re done before the day is?
  • Muller’s words remind us that exhaustion sabotages much of what we do, not only at home after “sunset”, but in business settings, community service or the practice of social justice.
  • Muller’s words are from his book Sabbath, so he is suggesting that we need to regularly stop, rest, delight and contemplate – essentially that self-care must precede any kind of usefulness. Does your life reflect this truth?

Abba, lead me regularly into the sabbath rest you have for me, and to live out of that. Impress upon me the need to care for myself well if I’m to be of any use to others.

__________

For More: Sabbath by Wayne Muller

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)