Practicing Generosity with All Your Soul
Unless approximately one-seventh of life is also ceasing from work, putting spaces, paragraphs, and parentheses around my efforts, work always becomes compulsive, addictive, driven, unconscious, and actually counter-productive for self and for those around us. We also need not to work. - Richard Rohr
The Soul quadrant of the Living Compass addresses two aspects of wellness: Spirituality and Rest and Play. These two areas converge when we focus on the ancient spiritual practice of sabbath time. Sabbath time is so valuable that it is included in the Ten Commandments. “Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:8-10).
Making sabbath time a priority is counter-cultural in a world that celebrates busyness, especially during this time of year. In the quote by Richard Rohr, our behavior this time of year, or at any time of the year, easily can become “compulsive, addictive, driven, unconscious, and actually counter-productive for ourselves and those around us,” if we are not mindful.
So one concrete way to be generous with God is to create some intentional pauses in our lives during the days between now and Christmas. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole day of sabbath time; it can simply be ten minutes or a half-hour here or there where we choose to slow down and become conscious of the true meaning of the season we are in (Advent), and the season we are preparing to celebrate (Christmas). Once again, we discover that being generous with God, as with others, involves giving our time, conscious presence, and attention.
Making it personal: Is the concept of sabbath time something you practice in your life right now? Why or why not? Are you aware of any of your behaviors around the holidays that might be in any way driven, compulsive, or addictive? If so, how might becoming conscious of that tendency help you to make some different choices?
Follow along with us this Advent season with our daily devotional and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner & The Rev. Jan Kwiatowski.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.