Today I took my cue from Wendell Berry himself, and stepped into the primal sabbath of my yard. I sat on a chair and read some of the early sabbath poems. My week has been quite hectic and stressful, and my work has followed me home. It was all I could do to drop it for the day. But as I read the poems, his words immediately resonated with me. It is nature’s curse that our work claw at us like vines. In the stillness, I accepted that this sabbath rest has a purpose – that I could be taken somewhere higher, where bird songs and blue sky and clouds and little butterflies became the steady air I breathed. Where the yellowy green leaves bursting forth all over against dark blue mountains are the important things. The deadlines and issues of my weekday toil were the surreal and unconcrete. Where God’s thoughts are higher than my thoughts.
I stopped going to church a few weeks ago.Â After a series of events over the past year, I woke up to discover I was left holding only aÂ fragile vacant chrysalis that once held a deep and meaningful faith and belief system. Rather than just continuing the ritual just to obtain some kind of mental check mark lost its appeal, when half the time I ended up missing the service anyway to tend the nursery, or chase an escaped toddler. I decided to face this desert head on, and ask the hard questions of doubt. I’m still meeting together with our home group.
Because at the end of the day, I know there is more to life than the day-to-day deadlines. In my chair, with the children roaming contentedly around me, I remembered what this sabbath thing is all about. Part of it is something to do with the bird song. “Best of any song is bird song in the quiet, but first you must have the quiet.” – Wendell Berry
In the psalms I sensed that too–and I hope that someday that song will be restored to me–the joy that has seeped away from me.