For everything there is a season…

Sometimes on the Sabbath
all you can do is

settle into the soft body of yourself

and listen to what it says.

Listen to

the exhaustion that is deeper than tiredness

the hunger that is for more than food

the thirst that is for more than drink

the longing for comfort that is more than physical.

On the Sabbath
body and soul reach out for time of a different sort

time that is full of space rather than activity:

time to watch the burning bush in your own back yard…

the movement of the wind among bare branches…

the last leaf that clings to the branch before its final letting go.

Letting go is hard,

letting go of that which no longer works

that which no longer brings joy and meaning

that which is no longer full of life.

It seems cruel
That something that used to be so beautiful

should fall to the ground

sinking into the earthy mud along with everything else that is dying,

no longer recognizable for what it used to be.

It seems cruel but it is the way of things.

One generation gives its life for the next.

One season slips away so another can come.

One crop of fruit falls from the tree so that more can be borne.

One wave recedes while another gathers strength

to crash upon the shore.

It seems cruel

but it is the rhythm of things

                And rhythm has its own beauty.


© Ruth Haley Barton 2013. Not to be reproduced without permission.

This article was adapted from Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership (InterVarsity Press, 2008)


Share this article: