deepening the soul for justice {week 3}

Well. This chapter just goes against everything in me. Stop? Rest? Sit? Be still? Not do, just… be?

I just can’t!

But I need to. And I’ll bet you do too.

(If you’re confused, this is week 3 of our Fall Read-Along. Catch up on Week 1 and Week 2 if you’d like!)

Bethany’s right. Practicing sabbath is 100% counter-intuitive. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But we’ve got to make time. “We release and in so doing, we receive.”

“Compelled by Scripture, I decided to trust God and, for a full day each week, stop the flurry of activity that I believed defined who I was and seek to be more intentionally attentive to the reality of who God is.” (p. 11)

That’s it right there. The hustle, the bustle, the busy? That’s all me. My stuff, my projects, my important-ness, my life.

Where is God in all of this, and do I trust him to keep the universe running if I take a little rest? (apparently not)

Stopping, praying, trusting. They all go hand in hand.

This justice thing is about God, not us. And seeking him first means stopping what I’m all busy doing (putting my phone down, turning it off) and turning toward him. Maybe praying, maybe being quiet, maybe talking a walk. Tuning out the clamor and hullaballoo and to-do lists and all that stuff (and getting up really early if it’s impossible to find quiet amongst kiddos during the day).

Reading a Psalm. Sitting outside. Whatever it is, just stopping, being still, and knowing that God is God.

This week’s assignment:

Make sure you’ve read p. 10-17 (“Stop”). Sabbath stop sometime this week. Report back here and give us a sentence or two about your experience (something God showed you, etc).

To Have Read by Next Week: p. 17-20 (“See”).

8 thoughts on “deepening the soul for justice {week 3}

  1. Jill Foley

    I have tried (very unsucessfully) in the past to work in times of prayer into my days. Times when I will purposefully stop what I’m doing, seek out a quiet space and sit before God. I start out well – with good intention – and then 2 days later I’ve already forgotten about it.
    It’s hard to stop when there are so many things and people demanding your attention and time, but it’s worth it – to sit in the presence of God for a few minutes – several times a day – who wouldn’t want that?
    Recently I picked up the Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle from our library. It’s a manual for prayer and is a wonderful guide for praying 3 times a day.

  2. Amanda Espinoza

    (Bah, I keep forgetting to use my gravatar email address.) Anyway, I do pretty good about getting up early to have a short time of prayer and scripture readings in the mornings. And I’ve stayed home from church these past two Sundays (once for a myriad of reasons, the second due to illness.) Although, I never do that and I am itching to get back to church. The chapter confirmed that I was on the right path. I think the chapter and the comments are speaking to me about not filling my schedule so much. I have been praying about another ministry opportunity, but I don’t feel like I can add one more thing. In a weird way I think the chapter confirmed what I was already thinking – to say no.

    Okay, two chapters in and I think I can do this. I am worried that it’s going to get harder. I want to care about injustice, but don’t feel like I have the capacity to care. I guess that is why I do need to deepen my soul so I can handle it. Gosh, I am loving this book. Also, since the cover says “Urbana Onward” I am assuming she was a part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I was a part of IVCF too and went to one Urbana. Love it.

  3. Andrea

    I have SO MANY THOUGHTS on this but will refrain from sharing them all and will just link to some previous posts I have written on a Sabbath Life.

    In the past when I forced myself to go to bed early, take regular breaks in the work day, read or craft instead of work on my neverending to-do list, I really did feel like all of the “important” stuff got taken care of, my life pace was more relaxing, I was filled with more supernatural gratitude, I felt so thankful that God accomplished all that was apparently what He wanted me to do. It was a much more peaceful time where I found myself relying on and enjoying God more. Why do we let the busyness and schedules and many to-dos start piling up again and give attention to those when they have only ever brought me anxiety, worry, bitterness, frustration, exhaustion, and practically 0 time with and enjoying God? Now I aim to Sabbath throughout the day’s activities instead of hurrying through or even setting aside one specific time for the week.

  4. ellen

    Bethany’s right. Practicing sabbath is 100% counter-intuitive. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
    Except we usually don’t accomplish what needs to be done effectively without the sabbath – doing is good but certainly not always God ordained.
    Love this book

  5. Denise Dilley

    I love what Bethany says about resting being in and of itself complete. Sabbath is not a means to an end (doing the next big justice-y thing). It is what it is. A time to stop, to rest from all the doing and just BE.

    I’m a do-er, so this is hard for me. My husband made the comment to me today when I told him I was off to another meeting (because I committed to doing another thing that I love), “do you really think it’s necessary to add something else to your schedule?” Um, probably not. But I love what I do. So I’m going to keep doing it.

    However, this whole Sabbath thing really does need to be a priority. Just BEING with the Lord rather than moving around Him and doing stuff for Him. He doesn’t need me to do anything. Which reminds me, 15ish years ago, I vividly remember Him speaking to me about the way He wanted to spend time with me. He brought back a memory of my dad and I when I was a little girl just gazing at the stars, something we did often together. The time my dad and I spent together was peaceful, quiet, filled with meaning.

  6. Bethany

    I loved this chapter. I had never thought of daily quiet times and taking a “Sabbath” once a week as trusting God with my time. Kind of like how the act of tithing shows you trust God with your finances. I took my first Sabbath this past Sunday and one thing I’m re-learning is that praying for people causes you to care about them more (my problem from last week).

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