Summer Sabbath

“In the morning, long before dawn, Jesus got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.” Mark 1:35

I remember tent camping with a friend on Mt. Lemon, just north of Tucson. We were at 8000 ft. The first day was so cold I couldn’t wait to get into my sleeping bag after dinner. I returned home from the outing rejuvenated after relaxed conversations with a colleague, exhilarating hikes, and lots of fresh air. I felt as though I was able to catch my breath for the first time in a great while. And as much as I loved the ponderosa, Douglas fir and aspen, along with picturesque boulders and melodious birdsong, you know what the best part of it was? No cell phone service. Oh, there were several towers atop the mountain. But evidently – happily — none belonged to AT&T. For 48 hrs. I was blissfully off-grid. Unplugged. Relaxed. How nice it was to catch my breath.

James Adams tells the story of an explorer on an urgent march through the jungles of the upper Amazon in South America. Good progress was made for about two days. Then, on the third morning, he found his native guides sitting solemnly on their haunches, making no preparations for further travel. “Why?” the explorer asked, and their foreman explained: “They are waiting; they cannot move farther until their souls catch up with their bodies.”

I wonder if we too sometimes get ahead of our souls? I wonder if we move so fast from here to there that sometimes we run off and leave our souls behind?

I hope you are able to find time during this summer season, when the pace generally slows a bit anyway, for your soul to have a chance to catch up. Call it summer Sabbath time. May we all find time to pause and catch our breath, and experience the grace and power of the Divine. And every now and then, feel free to power off your cell phone. Give it a rest, too!

Blessings, Pastor Jeff


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