Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sabbath in the Suburbs

That's the name of a book by MaryAnn McKibben Dana: Sabbath in the Suburbs. The subtitle says it all: "A family's experiment with Holy Time." MaryAnn is a great writer and this is a really fine book for complicated people and their families. I only wish she had written it fifteen years ago when my kids were small.

At one point, she reports the most popular reaction to Sabbath-keeping: "sounds nice...but we don't have time."

Her response is classic:

I don't have time. It's a curious phrase. Do any of us have time? Is time something we possess? Is it a commodity, a thing to own? It may be more accurate to say that time has us. Time holds us in its dispassionate grip. Time has its way with us. We work. We age. Our children grow up and leave us, which I keep hearing happens much sooner than we think. Sabbath is the only tool in my arsenal for fighting back. (p. 45)

To the person who asked the other day, "What's a sabbatical?" - it's a really long Sabbath, a gift of having time.

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