Anticipating Sabbath

Over the course of the past several weeks, I’ve been leading a book group at church on Wayne Muller’s Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives in anticipation of heading to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico to attend a Sabbath Retreat led by Muller himself.

A week at Ghost Ranch is always a treat. The desert mountains around Abiquiu, NM are amazing. I’m looking forward to long, quiet walks among the trees and bushes of the desert. For some reason, the terrain speaks to my soul – deep, peaceful, alive!

Sabbath is a time for rest, renewal, and being delighted by God’s grace. The first lines in Muller’s classic reads: “In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest. All life requires a rhythm of rest.” Sabbath helps me rest the rhythm of work and rest. It always amazes me how rich my intention retreat time ‘away’ from St. Louis is. In the rhythms of my work, I easily lose sight of the richness of grace that pervades all of life.

The Benedictines invite us to think about life as ora et labora, prayer and work – a balance between tending the Holy in stillness and then tending the Holy in action. Muller invites us to consider expanding the Benedictine dictum to: ora et labora et quietem. Yes, just like it sounds: prayer and work AND quiet (or rest).


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