Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Blizzard Sabbath

The past two days brought a major snowstorm to the Northeast U.S. The storm started on Sunday and lasted into yesterday morning. The New York area where I live got a direct hit from this monster blizzard that brought from 1-2 feet of snow and raging winds.

This blizzard brought nearly everything to standstill. Roads were impassible. Trains and subways stopped running. Many businesses were closed on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Once I accepted the reality that I was home bound for a while, I enjoyed this forced quietude. I realize that part of my enjoyment was due to not losing electricity. For those who did, surviving the blizzard was miserable.

In a way, yesterday became a sabbath, a day of rest. I did some active rest by doing a workout on my rowing machine in the basement and digging my sons cars out of snowdrifts. I also read two newspapers completely (something I never seem to have time to do), took a nap and went to a movie with my wife. It was a relaxing and enjoyable day.

After enjoying this day, I reflected on why I don't take a sabbath day each week. When such a day is forced upon me, I always enjoy it and benefit from it. So why aren't I intentional about making time for a sabbath? Perhaps it's because I'm caught up in a "I must always be busy to justify my existence" mode.

Our souls are fed both by being and doing, by inactivity and activity, by silence and conversation. What we need is a balance between the active and the passive aspects of spirituality. When our souls are out of balance, then we need to pay attention to how to bring them back into equilibrium.

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