The world is full of sacred places – some well known, attracting thousands or millions of pilgrims, and others perhaps known only to you or to me. But when we stop to consider where sacred time and space might exist in the world today, we are exploring how we can meet the holy in any place and any time. This is what the practice of Sabbath is about — learning to pay attention to the holy within and all around us, and making room for the sacred on any day of our lives.
In our world of 24/7 activity, this isn’t easy. We might have to begin not with a full day but perhaps just claiming small gifts of time, as we’re able — “little Sabbaths” or rests of 1 hour or 10 minutes or 1 minute in the middle of an otherwise busy day.
It might also help to note that a gift of time, like other gifts, may arrive in a shape or wrapping that we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves or might not even recognize as a gift. Like other gifts, we can’t always choose when it arrives or how it is wrapped; but we can choose whether to open it and how we will receive it.
Imagine this: you have been given a gift of sacred time. It might be wrapped in sparkles, or it could be wrapped in plain brown paper. You might immediately see it as the gift that it is, or perhaps it takes a moment to understand how you could receive it as a gift (as may happen with a delayed flight or a cancelled tennis game). Whether you recognize it as a gift right away or not, inside, it contains an invitation into sacred time and sacred space that is especially suited to you and what you need today. It might be as short as 10 minutes or as long as a whole day or longer. Whatever its wrappings and whatever its weight or length or shape, as you pause to ponder its possibilities, it delights you as a gift of time. Write about this gift that has arrived in your imagination today, beginning with the prompt below and following wherever it leads:
Opening this gift, I find . . . .