Sabbath Simplicity Part II

Credit:  Jeremy Tarling
As we train our gaze to a horizon beyond the consumer habits of our society, the Sabbath becomes a day of refashioning. The recalibration that occurs spills into the rest of the week as we shift away from a consumer-driven way of living toward a relational way of living. Indeed, as I’ve come to recognize the holiness of this one day and as I’ve gazed through this weekly window into the eternal by simply stopping and resting, I’ve begun to realize that God has left windows open throughout the week through which a Sabbath draft flows. Moments are found to realign, to practice that art of saying no, to resist the temptations of competition and consumerism.

As an offering in these Sabbath musings I present a poem written while reflecting on a metaphor common in Jewish lore, where the Sabbath is compared to a queen. Thus, just as one would roll out the red carpet for a royalty, so one honors this day as the Queen of days.

The Sabbath Queen

The days are drones and swirl
about my head, darting,
drumming in my ears.
Beneath them I squat,
swollen with the sting of their concerns
of commerce and competition.

I heave myself
from place to place,
but find nowhere to rest;
all is bustle and business,
when what I need is binding up
of wounds and worries.

But then I come to her—
regal in her unconcern
for the frenzied course I’ve taken.
She is midwife to my frustration,
birthing the stillborn cares,
which she sets aside, swaddled in a solitary
place I do not know.

In their stead she offers
nothing but a place to sit and rest.
And in that rest I am refashioned—
unswollen; the poison of the days transfused
with a nectar sweet and satisfying,
so that when I rise to bid her well,
I am well.

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