If you do anything, take a soul sabbath. I highly recommend~
A soul sabbath is time set apart to be in silence with God and yourself. I went to a farm in Crozet, VA in order to get away and reflect on life. I didn’t have any clear expectations. Just time to sit in silence.
In preparation, I brought a few journals and my Bible, but I didn’t expect to spend a lot of time in them. I just wanted the opportunity in case the desire in me arose. Note to self: be overprepared.
Begin with prayer
In order to center myself in silence and keep from wandering, I began with prayer. Something interesting had happened before my soul sabbath began and so I lifted that up to the Lord. And this doesn’t necessarily need to be prayer. This can be writing thoughts down that distract you, or a list of what’s on your mind. Find a way to be centered before entering into silence.
Be in nature
Ideally, a good space to get away into is nature. Find a trail you want to slowly traverse. I love walking around before getting to the point of being physically still. Hearing the birds, watching the movement in a lake, just soaking up the sun in the green outdoor-that’s what helps mark a soul sabbath as distinct from a moment or two in our daily lives to take a breath. The space, along with the time, marks that this is a different moment and so it requires a different level of presence.
Related Post: Seeking Solitude in Isolation
Reflect on the past
This isn’t for everyone. Or every soul sabbath. But I’d highly recommend doing this if you are ending a season of your life or you just have entered a new season of life. Look at your past self and admire the wisdom they have given you. I was reading my old journal entries from the end of my last semester, and it was a time.
Notes from my wise past self-
Prayer from my Dec 27, 2021 self
May the life God has called me to unfold, and may I be open to receiving it, whatever it looks like.
I just really want to live the life God is calling me to live, and that means letting my desires that don’t align with his fall to the wayside. It isn’t easy. But why would I want a life that he doesn’t want for me, when he is good and kind and knows what’s best?
Dec 19, 2021
“I think God’s patience angers us. I think we’d rather a quick, cheap faith than a deep, real one.” oof!
We all think we’re patient until we’re in a long line at the grocery store. Or if we’re stuck in traffic. Those situations try us and test our hearts. The reality of who we are comes to the surface in times of trouble. We find that we’re not as kind or not as quick to surrender.
It’s easy to long for the transformation without the process of being transformed. The product without the process. And God is all about the process, so his patience grates on us. But he has a bigger picture of our lives than we do, and so our anger needs to be redirected. Redirected towards a longer view of what it means to live well.
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Dec 30, 2021
You can’t choose when love enters in.
We want to control what enters into our lives, and try to supervise when it’s our turn. The reality is that we can’t choose when love enters in. This means we have to strive to be at peace for the life that is right in front of us.
Dec 31, 2021
This may not be a year of the harvest, but for sowing.
I always think that I enter into the season where I get to reap the harvest, to enter the fruit. But maybe it’s a foundation time that I’ve entered into this year to plant seeds for a future I want to see.
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Reflections from Soul Sabbath
The constant refrain for me was this recognition that I kept trying to co-opt my agenda with God’s and I just need to release it – Father, teach me to relinquish what is not mine to hold
I reflected on some 2022 surprises which I’ll share at a later date.
I reflected on a dream that I saw written in my March journal entries too.
Looking back enabled me to see things that I had forgotten about or desires that were hidden under the muck of busyness. And there are some themes. It’s easy to feel like life is a blur or that there isn’t a purpose for the daily ongoings, but I looked back in my journal and found themes that I didn’t try to put together but just found were strung together through repetition. I’ve just been repeating focusing on fear of the Lord and that I lack nothing in him.
I highly recommend spending some time lying in the sun, getting quiet and being still in order to connect with your soul. Check in with yourself. And see what comes up. You might be surprised at what you find.
Have you ever tried doing a soul sabbath before?