Those people who were enslaved by a system of production and making bricks… Day after day? As they continued to make bricks, the quotas became larger. As quotas always do.
As they continued making bricks and not reaching their quotas, they were called lazy. As we always are by a system that demands production.
As soon as they were led into freedom they were given a list of words that were meant, in my opinion, to guide them to the discovery of the true gifts of the world. (Some calls these the 10 commandments - which is a terrible way to talk about these words.)
Regardless, one of those words was, basically, “stop”.
Can you imagine how that felt?
Stop making bricks.
Stop listening to people who demand more.
Stop listening to people who call you lazy.
Let your brain stop.
Of the massive list of things that the church is generally concerned with, stopping is rarely one of them. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not even on the top 100 list.
And yet, if we’re talking about sin in terms of what hides the divine nature of ourselves, not stopping is one of the biggest obstacles. At least according to the Bible.
Walter Brueggemann talks about “Sabbath” as an active resistant to the systems of greed.
I don’t know about you, but the systems of greed in this world drive me crazy and I don’t know what to do about them.
Stop is a good start.
Without stopping, there is no rhythm... or music... it’s all just more noise.
When we stop we acknowledge the world will go on without us. Just fine.
When we stop we realize we’re enough. We don’t have to do more.
The Sabbath, which began as a day dedicated to stopping - because how else do we ever remember to - began at sunset. I believe the idea behind it was that you would wake up and see that you’ve been doing nothing and the world is still going. Everyone doesn’t need you all the time.
This past week I canceled three events in a row. It was incredibly difficult. I felt guilty. I felt as though I was letting people down. I felt as though Pharaoh was calling me lazy and that I was not producing my quota of bricks.
And then I felt incredibly refreshed. I could think again. I could hear the whispers of the world and of the divine.
I recently read that 42 percent of Americans feel guilty for relaxing.
There is still a Divine power leading us to a place of freedom and breath and refreshment... of stopping. The force has always been leading captives to freedom.