Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Renewal

If we live our day within the mindset that it begins at dawn, and ends in dusk, maybe we set ourselves up to embrace despair. We may more easily succumb to the habit of thinking in terms of decline, and decay. For our "day" would begin in a golden age, only to end in a gathering darkness; from that template, where is there room for faith, initiative, or hope?

If we instead live our day so that it begins at sunset, with sleep viewed to occur in the middle rather than at the end, then within each "day" we may experience a renewal of light, of energy, of hope. Each "day" would include the dawning of a new chance to try again, after the necessary rest from the trials of the first attempt.

Sometimes it's only the smallest shift in one's point of view that can offer the strongest of results...

4 comments:

Walker Morrow said...

A very insightful post, Charles.

Something that I have found interesting is that if I take the time in the day to sort of..calm the waters; if I just stop and take the time to catch up to myself, then it's easier to get a second wind.

Rather than simply going all the time, and this is what I think the idea of Sabbath entails, it's better to get done what one can with liberal sprinklings of rest in between, I think.

Although I suppose it depends on what your definition of relaxation is. For instance, for some it might be exactly this: blogging. For some it might simply be sitting in a lawnchair and watching the world go by.

Dag said...

Shabbat came to mind straight away when I read this. I recall living in Israel an going nut from boredom when the nation shut down on Friday afternoon. People would stop work, stop commerce, stop doing much of anything, it seemed to me. My friends, most of us foreigners at the time, would sit and stare at each other, wondering what to do.

And slowly I realized I liked the caesura, and I liked the fact that the whole nation had time to stop and think and consider and celebrate quietly the existence of the living and the remembrance of the dead. I made more friends, Israelis, and was invited out for Shabbat dinner and family time, and soon enough I came to love it, to feel part of the whole thing in a way that I hadn't before anywhere else. The bombings continued, but life still made good sense, the life of living.

Happy am I who has been able to live so many lives in one go, with more yet to come.

Charles Henry said...

...it's better to get done what one can with liberal sprinklings of rest in between...

I wish I had been as wise when I was younger, there were months at a time when I would work each and every day, all day long. It would burn me out, and instead of questioning my punishing approach to "productivity", I would instead chide myself for laziness.

When I returned to my faith, I re-learned the lesson of rest; it makes us forward-looking, long-term thinkers. Simply relaxing reminds us that there's a future to be rested for. Behave in a way towards yourself as you would to your best friend, just as you try and behave towards others as you would wish they would behave towards you.

Charles Henry said...

...I liked the fact that the whole nation had time to stop and think and consider and celebrate quietly the existence of the living and the remembrance of the dead.

That's beautifully put... and adds another point, that by resting in a meaningful way we make ourselves of more continuing service to others, it's not just something we do for ourselves alone.

As a recovering workaholic, I can look back with shame at how often I would use being "busy" as an excuse to avoiding working on what really mattered, fixing what was broken or missing in my life so that I could become someone worth marrying, or simply worth having around.