Quiet Hour

My life needs a quiet hour. I am continually prodded for more productivity, accomplishments, efficiency. Much of this prodding comes from within my own head and heart. There are very few voices in my life telling me to stop. Rest. Just be.

I need more of those voices.

I need a quiet hour. Every day. A time to remind myself that I’m not in charge. That I’m not in control. That I’m not responsible for everything.

I need to live at a sustainable pace.

I need to move to Italy.

Salerno 2015 - Mike-45

Quiet hour is a social construct in Italy. It’s expected. Most people in Salerno close their shops, head home for lunch, and then have a quiet hour. They can nap, read, rest, or just have a time of stillness. It was socially enforced to the point that we had to turn off music and couldn’t vacuum during the quiet hour out of respect for our neighbors while we were working there. After an hour of two, Italians head back to their jobs to finish their day, rejuvenated and refreshed.

It was a powerful reminder to me as a mini, daily Sabbath.

I’ve been studying Sabbath for years now. I understand the importance of it more intellectually, but I still find it difficult to practice. Italy is helping me with that. I long to change the pace at which I run in life and have some quietness and stillness to remind my heart that it’s okay. It’s okay if I don’t have all the answers. It’s okay if I don’t get everything checked off my to-do list. It’s okay if I need a rest.

No, it’s more than okay. It’s commanded.

Exodus 20:8-11

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

How to you encourage restfulness in your heart and life?

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