The world keeps moving. Slow down at the risk of falling behind. It’s 24/7. Now, now, now. No one waits for anything. Must, must, must.
But I need to escape. I need to clear the clutter from my brain. I can’t keep swimming.
It’s Friday evening and the Sabbath has begun. I’m in the synagogue and nearly done the evening prayers.
In fact, I’ve just completed the silent Shmoneh Esrei prayer which is said to ones’ self while standing and still. It is the centerpiece of the evening service. I’ve taken three steps backward to symbolize my taking leave from God and the last of the words have been silently said. They prayer is done. But before I take a step forward and return to the world, I pause. I have something to add.
It’s during this time each week that I make a special request from God. I make many requests actually, but one stands above them all.
I hold my body still and firm. And I ask God for help.
Please God help me to move past the previous week. Help me to let go of the frustrations, the disappointments, the expectations, the promises, the failures and even the successes. I want to erase them all.
And then I strive for focus and a mind free of clutter. Quiet. Internal quiet. Turn off the constant play by play analysis going on in my head. No thoughts of the past. No thoughts of the future. I strive to reach a place similar to what Eckhart Tolle touched upon in his book, Power of Now. I want to be in the present. Only. And I want that present to be quiet. To be free. To be peaceful.
It should be easy – shouldn’t it? Just stopping. I’m just emptying out the system, deleting the files.
But it’s not.
To achieve the moment, the feeling, I’m striving for is hard. Very hard.
It’s putting away the guilt for not having enough patience with my children. It’s putting away the frustration of a miscommunication with my wife. It’s putting away the disappointment of not hearing from a friend. It’s putting away the laughter of a joke well told. It’s putting away the pride from a blog well written. It’s putting away the satisfaction of being a good son.
It’s putting away everything. It’s putting away anything.
I need this moment. I need this serenity. It’s my bridge. It calms me, settles me, frees me. Everything is okay. Everything is fine. I will manage. I will be content. I thank God.
With this moment complete, I cross the bridge and am now in Sabbath mode. It is the Sabbath that gives me time and space. It allows me to enjoy family, friends, food, rest, and more. It allows me to slow down.
For the next 24 hours, I have the gift of the Sabbath. It’s a gift I cherish for it empowers me. And it enables me. It grants me the strength to deal with the rigors and appreciate the beauties in each moment and day in the coming week.
And when that week has come, I will rush along like all the rest. But I know the week will end, and I will have my moment to be still.