Excess capacity

Lev 25:3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.

One of the first questions people ask when I talk about Sabbath is “what should we do on Sabbath?” For those of us who are so used to being busy all the time, finding something to do is a genuine challenge. Surely we cannot sleep through the entire day. After we minus the 8 hours of sleep and 3 hours of church, we still have 13 hours of not knowing what to do.

If we have a problem staying still for one day, imagine how we can survive for a Sabbath year. Even when we think we are secured in finance and career, we just cannot image having nothing to do for a year.

When we read Leviticus 25, we can see that even without sowing and pruning, the land will produce something. Living systems are constantly productive. Somebody who is truly alive will always be creative. We are so used to being crowded by “sowing and pruning” that we have forgotten to be naturally creative. It is when we intentionally cease “artificial production” that we can discover our natural productivity.

What do you want to do on Sabbath? Do things that naturally come to you. Painting, poetry, make music, hanging out with friends. You will be amazed how productive you are when you are not trying.

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