The Oxford dictionary defines Sabbath as :
a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jewish people from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.
and that is what I thought it was until I joined the study of a most amazing book called Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives. Written by Wayne Muller, this book offers teaching and practice about ways to incorporate Sabbath living into your life. Our study happens to be led by an equally remarkable priest who walks along beside each of us in discovering the essential nature of the rhythm of Sabbath time. One of the practical suggestions has been to incorporate a Sabbath walk into your practice, and that is where these simple thoughts originated today.
Before I learned about the Sabbath walk, I read about creating a Sabbath box in which to put things that would distract from "abstinence from work," and the first thing I plopped into the box was my apple watch. As most of you know, this watch is like a computer/phone strapped to your wrist. It vibrates or beeps when you get a phone call, a text message, a notification from CNN, and if you walk over a certain number of steps or stand up the right number of time...absolutely ridiculous (and if you work for Apple and are reading this, I apologize). I got sucked into this little gadget about three years ago and have prided myself on the days I walked more than 10,000 steps or the days I answered all my text messages or the days I was on the cutting edge of all the news. And then the Sabbath practice said what is distracting you from rest and renewal, and I knew immediately that the watch had to go...I put it in the Sabbath box, and it will never come out.
Now on to the Sabbath walk...Muller suggests taking a walk "without any purpose, no need for insight or revelation. Simply let your soul catch up with you." And he could also have said without an apple watch! And so I decided to do just that at 7 am twice a week. My oh my what a joy it has been . My Fair Lilibet, Her Royal Highness Golden Retriever and I have walked about a mile with only the wind and the birds, noticing things like moss and berries and smells and acorns. I felt "the rhythm of being" as Muller calls it, and I heard the secrets of the earth...I let my senses guide me, as he suggests, and I lost a sense of time.
I am now officially unplugged from the apple watch; its battery is fading, and it has been relegated to my collection of unused apple products which served me well in another season of my life.
I highly recommend Sabbath time and this beautiful book, and I urge you to make a Sabbath box and take a Sabbath walk!