A Sabbath to Fallow My Heart
What on earth is that? It’s what I’ve come to call my after-concussion time. (since the end of January).
I’ll admit my initial terms for this time were wasted, fallow (land that is plowed but not planted), and purposeless.
I was not producing. Unable to “do” anything of “value.” Goals unaccomplished, jobs cancelled, income lost…unable to drive, cook, or do much of anything, initial assessment was where is my value? What is my purpose?
Years ago, I met Jack Mayhall of the Navigators. One of his sayings for attitudes like mine was, “What, is God dead?”
Going on with his thought that if God had not changed, though my situation/circumstance had, I asked myself then what was still the same.
Unchanged – My purpose. Still to glorify God in all that I do. Hmmm – or not do?
Unchanged – My value. Scripture is clear that no matter what emotions or circumstances indicate, nothing I can do will increase (or decrease) my value to God. He is love without conditions. (Ephesians 2:8,9)
What was the value of doing nothing? I knew that God planned the weekly Sabbath for us. A time of rest for us. To emphasize that we are more than “Human Resources.” Leviticus 25 revealed that even the land was to be given a Sabbath! There was a purpose in the fallow ground, and it was very similar to our Sabbath. God called it a solemn rest for the land, for the purpose of restoring its fertility.
For the land – To have a time of rest, and rebuilding the nutrients.
For the people – To rest from endless commitments and to allow my heart and mind to be restored and strengthened – refreshed from undemanding relationship building.
I gotta admit I suddenly had way more time than I even wanted.
Suddenly I had time to complete the 21-day devotional I’d set aside…Great rest-oration in that, and more rest in prayer for others in far more serious situations than my own.
I found rest in having to turn down the music and the lights and focus on one thing at a time.
I found rest in losing the daily to-do list.
Surprising rest came in having time for longer conversations with relatives and friends at a distance.
Surprising rebellion came too, as my dear husband tried valiantly to help me cook and clean (I am sure I will never find all the dishes) and when completing a February obligation, I sat in the car with eyes closed to avoid vertigo, and ummm gave directions. When he suddenly pulled the car off the road and cried out to God for help us not to hurt each other, I had to laugh and admit maybe the point in the sabbatical rest was to also rest from trying to be the leader and doing things my way. It was apparently a good move as on the way home he bought me chocolate and pink carnations!
Rest 1.0 – completed end of February.
To disappointment when the eye doctor said one more month.
In agriculture constant working of the land can be draining to the soil. The animals were allowed on the land to fertilize it and restore the nutrients. In modern times, companion planting and/or crop rotation takes place instead and fallowing the land is considered financially foolish and a last resort.
Multitasking and ‘rotating’ several goals at the same time is the modern way of skipping the Sabbath for our bodies. At least it has been for me. Once again ancient words and ancient ways apply to my life with new meaning.
REST 2.0 – in progress
Note that the land was not just left unplanted – it was plowed. Any thorns or rocks, etc. were removed.
Physically – I am grateful for knowledgeable people in healthcare who are identifying thorns and rocks I can remove and things to build up strength and circulation. Vertigo is greatly decreased, as long as I don’t overdo and limit increasing exposure to movement, light and sound.
Spiritually – Deep into the devotional the Forgotten Way of Yeshua (Ted Dekker) – Topic
Who Am I in Christ, and Bible Study Fellowship book of John – recent topic – Who Am I in Christ. And you guessed it sermons on Who am I in Christ (providentially the topic of the introduction to Hebrews the last couple Sundays).
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).
March goal: Prepare for rain by cultivating His grace.