We live by gift and not by possession. – Walter Brueggemann
Live By Gift – The Rest Series – Part 5
Rest is an exercise in trust.
And I think this is why we have huge issues around resting, work stoppage, and play.
What will happen if I stop?
What will happen if I go home on time?
If I fail to complete the task?
If I fail?
What if I’m not enough?
What happens if it doesn’t work?
What happens if I don’t appear to be strong and on top of things?
What happens if I tell the truth of how tired I am?
Of how I just want to be myself for a few hours and not be the work that I do?
What if there is more to life than money and empire and consumption?
You have to trust that you are enough. That if you stop working the world won’t fall apart. That letting someone down by telling the truth is the best thing that you can do right now.
You have to trust that your value and place in the world doesn’t come from your productivity or success. It originates from the transcendent realm of God, the Divine himself. And you are held in the grip of grace not because you are good enough, but because it's where you belong.
You must trust that God had a reason for Sabbath beyond pure obedience.
In his book, The Sabbath as Resistance, Walter Brueggemann said:
“Sabbath is the practical ground for breaking the power of acquisitiveness and for creating a public will for an accent on restraint. Sabbath is the cessation of widely shared practices of acquisitiveness. It provides time, space, energy, and imagination for coming to the ultimate recognition that more commodities, which may be acquired in the rough and ready of daily economics, finally do not satisfy.
Sabbath is variously restraint, withdrawal, or divestment from the concrete practices of society that specialize in anxiety. Sabbath is an antidote to anxiety that both derives from our craving and in turn feeds those cravings for more. Sabbath is an arena in which to recognize that we live by gift and not by possession, that we are satisfied by relationships of attentive fidelity and not by amassing commodities.
We know in the gospel tradition that we may indeed “gain the whole world” and lose our souls (Mark 8:34–37). Thus Sabbath is soul-receiving when we are in a posture of receptivity before our Father who knows we need them (Luke 12:30).”
Life is not about building empires and endlessly consuming resources. Life is about each other; neighbors, family, friends… It’s in the faces of humanity that we find God. Not in our structures of wealth and accumulation, but in our love, care, and compassion for ourselves and our fellow others. Love of God. Love of Neighbour. Love of self.
Trust that “we live by gift and not by possession.” Trust that the gift is yours to receive.
Trust that it is enough.
Written by Liz Milani
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