Friday, August 30, 2013

Sheds, Organs, Country Music and a day of rest

A word used often at Vicar factory by Uncle Geoff (our college Chaplain) was the word 'liminality'. It means being transitional and I suppose now, for me (us), is one of the those times. Through this liminality I have continued to blog and people have asked me if I will continue to blog once I am married. I hope so is my answer and Mrs Cooke to be is a fan of me continuing to write/blog. I love sharing stuff - in many ways I was built to blog. It means I can share stuff and not annoy too many people because you only have to come here and read if you want to.

This week, for what it's worth, I have learnt about sheds and their bases, teak oil, what the colour violet is, waistcoats and tie combos, speeches (this is the best book on speeches) the problems of tuning organs, wedding regulations, I watched a documentary on songwriting and mused on the parallels with sermon writing, learnt about the connection of scripture to community (6/30/13), I've discovered Miranda Lambert (who could possibly not love lots of high chairs, acoustic guitars and a country music jam?)- love Mama's broken heart and I've been to this with my mum and in-laws to be. Oh- and I lost my Oyster card and also spent money on mending my car having hit a brick and flint wall reversing out of my sister's drive. Not a good time in life to drop and unnecessary dollop of cash :( Finally, I had a chat with an Italian man on the joys of the Brompton and he fixed my seat for me on Sheen high street which was jolly decent of him.

You see my blog is simply a diary of stuff that impacts me or I discover. I post it here and if anyone discovers it and it's helpful or thought-provoking to them then praise God. If not then there are plenty (I say plenty) of other blogs to read.

Today is my day off so I am less disciplined about my clicking and time spent reading and thinking which I think is OK. Years ago, a Keller sermon I think called Work and Rest helped me when he said Sabbath time should be divided into three segments.

1. Worship and prayer
2. Restorative activity
3. 'Uncommitted' time.

1. is easy to understand. 2. is the challenge of doing something that refreshes and restores you and this will be different depending on the person- go for a walk, a picnic, watch a movie, see a pal. 3. is the section I like and is so counter-cultural and it says 'don't make a plan, don't schedule anything, don't plan to meet anybody just simply have a third of your time blank and see what happens. Rest, play, cook something, read a book or a paper, nap. We seem to live in days when uncommitted time greatly unnerves people but it's part of what Sabbath is supposed to be about.

I love Rob Bell's Sabbath quote. We beg to differ on heaven and hell but he has been a help to me in lots of ways that are hard to sum up.

I think I should probably stick it on my (soon to be our) fridge.
"There are so many layers to the healing of the soul. One practice that has brought incredible healing is the taking of a Sabbath. Now when we read the word Sabbath, most of us think that the real issue behind the Sabbath isn’t which day of the week it is but how we live all the time.
I decided to start taking one day a week to cease from work. And what I discovered is that I couldn’t even do it at first.
I would go into depression.
By the afternoon I would be so . . . low.
I realized that my life was all about keeping the adrenaline buzz going and that I was only really happy when I was going all the time. When I stopped to spend a day to remember that I am loved just because I exist, I found out how much of my efforts were about earning something I already have.
Sabbath is taking a day a week to remind myself that I did not make the world and that it will continue to exist without my efforts.
Sabbath is a day when my work is done, even if it isn’t.
Sabbath is a day when my job is to enjoy. Period.
Sabbath is a day when I am fully available to myself and those I love most.
Sabbath is a day when I remember that when God made the world, he saw that it was good.
Sabbath is a day when I produce nothing.
Sabbath is a day when I remind myself that I am not a machine.
Sabbath is a day when at the end I say, “I didn’t do anything today,” and I don’t add, “And I feel so guilty.”
Sabbath is a day when my phone is turned off, I don’t check my email, and you can’t get ahold of me.
Jesus wants to heal our souls, wants to give us the shalom of God. And so we have to stop. We have to slow down. We have to sit still and stare out the window and let the engine come to an idle. We have to listen to what our inner voice is saying."

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