“GOOD time management remembers the Sabbath principle. One day a week we must delight in being unnecessary.”
— Dr. Brian Harris
SHAMANS of ancient Mexico believed that a warrior had the motive and ability to protect their accessibility — that concealing their presence was a vital skill of a man (or woman) who could command life. Certainly the Bible calls us, from ancient times, to this ability in the obedient person to remove themselves from life for a period of necessary rest: Sabbath — a one-in-seven rhythm.
Yet it is hard to ‘do’ an actual shalom because we have come to delight too much in being necessary. We may not even want to be superfluous. And that’s because our identities are stuck in a place of externality when our real need is an internality of Jesus.
I talk with a friend in ministry regularly and we regularly talk about prayer. We pray together, we pray for each other, and we pray when we’re led. His prayer life is an inspiration to me. He gets up early most mornings and devotes a few hours to his quiet time with the Lord. My quiet time is centred on the thoughts God reveals to me as I write them down. But the centrality of my friend’s prayer life is simply getting away from distractions and being in himself with God.
God is using my friend’s application of prayer and quiet time to show me a new thing: stillness of soul is critical if we’re to become what God destines us to become in Christ.
Stillness of Soul
How still can we be? How still of ourselves are we able to be?
Sabbath is an ancient principle. As ancient as it gets. And so long as time has been we have had access to this secret from God: stillness of soul is found through a safe sense of self. But a safe sense of self is found only in Jesus, because deeper down, where we hurt in guilt and shame, Jesus helps us know that he is what we can never be. He is. What we can never be. We hunger to be perfect. But we can never be. But, in him, we are his perfection. The Father sees us in his perfection.
When we finally understand and accept this truth, and better is it done to meditate silently over it, we’re given access to an understanding of ourselves that reconciles us to ourselves. We no longer need to be perfect. We’re happily broken. We might laugh at the fact. Then, we have stillness of soul. We no longer need to be everything to everyone. We happily be nothing to nobody. We are no longer driven to pillar and post. And from there we’re freshly infused of God and enthused for life.
Stillness of soul is the pleasant locale of self that enjoys being him or herself. This is nothing of an ego locale. It’s a pleasant sense of being where nothing of the forces without have much impact on the forces within.
A person who is easily able to be unnecessary in a busily vexatious world will find peace in being necessary solely to God, for quiet times, within themselves.
A person finding busyness truly unnecessary finds what is truly necessary in life.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.