Sabbath rest, life balance, and all that tricky stuff

If you can’t use your own blog for shameless cross-promotion, what CAN you use it for?

On the 9th of August, Jo (from the Baptist Union of Victoria) and I are organizing a conference for women, with my former boss and all-round wonderful person Lynette Leach as the keynote speaker. See:

The theme of the keynote is life balance… an incredibly important topic that seems to keep popping up in my world one way or another.

I was interested in Baba’s comments on the “Boundaries and Burnout” thread how she takes Sabbath seriously. She even practices the ancient command to the Israelites to leave the land fallow one year in 7 on her farm… a Sabbath rest for the land itself.

The modern, developed world mindset is that we don’t need to give the land time to replenish itself… just keep adding nitrogen, phosphorus and postassium to the soil and plants will keep growing. (although at what cost to the health of humans when our vegetables end up so deficient in other trace elements?)

The catchcry of the economic rationalists is “productivity” to generate wealth. More and more energy and effort is squeezed from fewer workers… even with the aid of technology, one would think people must reach some kind of biological and spiritual “limit”. Even the world outside work can be a “24/7” world… on average people get at least 2 hours sleep less per day than those living 100 years ago… and our sleep patterns have far less correlation with the natural rhythms of sunrise and sunset.

This “busyness” that infects our society permits less time for the things that matter most… meaningful connection with other human beings, and with God in worship. We are able to access information with incredible ease… but that does not mean we know how to access that which is deep in our souls… to understand and embrace the vocation God has uniquely wired us for… to find the wisdom to live in right relationship with our family, friends and neighbours… to hear the voice of the Spirit who gives true Life.

So how do we embrace a “Sabbath rest for the people of God?” How do you find space for that which matters most? How do you find life balance in a world that seems to have gone mad? I’d love to hear your reflections.


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