One of the promises of Sabbath keeping is a re-ordering of time. In our culture we are told that time is money and if the return on investment isn’t high enough we should invest elsewhere. But Sabbath takes a step away from the always productive, always on, 24/7 model.
One way that I am living into this invitation is to observe Sabbath from evening to evening. And the best part of this simple shift? It makes sleep a part of the equation! It hallows the least productive time of our day and makes rest sacred. What a gift!
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. –Psalm 4.8
This shift has also let me reimagine the time that’s available. It’s added a measure of spaciousness to the 24 hours.
- There’s the evening of Saturday–where we sometimes make a leisurely, more celebratory meal together.
- There’s night–where I might say compline before I go to sleep.
- There’s Sunday morning–where I might make muffins or waffles or go for a run.
- There’s church and a quick lunch before naps.
- And there’s the open afternoon.
It’s so restorative to have these chunks of time creating space for a deep breath. Abraham Joshua Heschel says that Sabbath is an architecture in time. Instead of a holy place or pilgrimage site located in a particular place, Sabbath creates that same beauty and awe in time.