A year ago this week that I began my Sabbath Leave. As I cleared my desk and said good-bye to people, I had no idea what lay in store for me. The four months I took off from work proved to be a time of transformation in my life.
No responsibility, no organizing, no leadership, no public speaking, no group facilitation. Open-ended days, to linger, to play, to pray, to reflect and read, to walk the beaches…. Even though I thoroughly enjoy all those ministry/leadership things, I quickly grew to value the new experience of laying them aside and opening more deeply to being, not doing, but being.
During those four months I re-connected with Jesus in a friendly way, but at the same time connected more deeply than ever before with the Cosmic Christ, the one who always has been, who is the glue that holds all this together. The awareness that I was a spiritual being having a human experience took deep root within me and continues to this day. I feel connected to The Always.
Each day as I move through the relatively mundane events of my now, quite simple life, I know they are significant because each event is part of the Great Unfolding. One of the ways I can express what I’ve experienced is by moving to the use of capitals. I’m sure my grammar teachers are shuddering in their resting places!
I’ve shifted inside into a world that is grounded in all there ever has been, all that there will be, forever and ever. I sleep, rise, eat, dress. I do all the things humans do, and yet I find embedded within them a significance they never had before. The significance comes out of the awareness that I’m not alone. God’s Spirit is always within me, with me, around me.
I thought my Sabbath Leave decision was about leaving some ministry responsibilities that were exhausting me. I told people my purpose was to find a sustainable life. A year later I say I’ve discovered a rich and highly sustainable life. I’m so grateful for the two communities who released me from responsibilities, my parish and my community of Contemplative Fire. And so grateful to God. One more time, God always shows up. When you put the busyness of life aside and seek more God, the Spirit will always show up. Always.
What would it be like for you to set aside your busyness for awhile and seek the Holy One, the Loving One, the Great Compassion, The Great Always?
Maybe someday I’ll be called back into the working flow, but that’s not today. When, or if, I do return, it’s up to me to live differently, to live leaning into the Jesus I’ve met this past year. Right now, I still have my training wheels on. I’m learning to live simply, day by day.
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For Lent, I’ll be posting Lenten Reflections through www.contemplativefire.ca. Sign up there to receive them.
Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada