“Mindfulness is a certain way of paying attention that is healing, that is restorative, that is reminding you of who you actually are so that you don’t wind up getting entrained into being a human doing rather than a human being.” — Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn
Over the years many a folk has written expressing their appreciation of our observation of the Sabbath. Of course, this leads to questions like: ” Are you Jewish, Seventh Day Adventist?” Answer – neither. Or: “Do you go to church, what’s your Sabbath like?” The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew shabbat, “to cease” and that’s exactly what our family strives to do. It’s a time for us to call a “TIME OUT!” from worldly pulls and we don’t need to attend a church to do that.
Thankfully we keep modern technology to a minimum, but lately, there’s is a burgeoning “Sabbath” movement started by culture “creatives with a deep feeling that life had been taken over by technology and the grind of work.” Last Saturday the organization hosted an “National Day of Unplugging” – which we do already no computers, no business calls, no shopping, no commerce.
I wrote this post a few years back and since I’ve been receiving many a letter this week on the subject, thought it an opportune time to re-post as the information is still relevant in our times.
Six Days You Shall Labor
Dear Dervaes Family,
I enjoyed your presentation at 10,000 Villages and look forward to your next talk with the Eden series at All Saints. You are amazing! Thank you for the newsletter. Your websites are beautiful also. … I’m glad to see on your site that you keep the Sabbath rest from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. I believe that is one reason for your phenomenal success, that you are being blessed for your Sabbath economics as well as all your outstanding hard work.
BTY Thank you for standing up for what God has put on your heart(asking people not to purchase from sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday). Praying God’s favor for you and your garden. May you receive greater than your goal!
Hi there Dervaes family,
I was looking at your online store the peddlers wagon and saw some awesome things, one of which is the statement of faith about asking people to respect you and not purchase on Sabbath. WOW…I was so impressed with this. I am a Seventh Day Adventist and have never seen anyone put this request on their websites before.
— Take care, Lisa
I happened across your web site as I browsed some agrarian blogs, and I was very pleased to find that you take the Sabbath seriously. I believe that the Sabbath and the other appointed times… are part of the agrarian rhythm of life that God intended us to live. Good for you that you refrain from selling on the Sabbath! Keep up the good work you are doing, you are an inspiration to many.
— Sincerely, Aimee
“…You guys have admirable integrity in asking customers to refrain from buying from your website on the Sabbath. “
When folks ask “so what’s this about a Sabbath day” I simply tell them it’s a day where we call “TIME OUT.”
So, what’s a “time out?” Time out from buying, selling, and doing normal work activities here on the homestead.
It’s a time for us unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, get with loved ones. It’s about finding a balance in life as we step off of the 24/7 treadmill.
Do We Need to Observe a Sabbath
In the 1960s the Department of Architectural Studies at Sheffield University undertook a survey which showed that buildings which were used heavily every day of the week suffered from stress and were unlikely to last. Those that had just one 24-hour period of “refreshment” each week had time to recover and lasted longer.
If a building requires regular rest, how much more those who work in it?
Today, the 24/7 mantra dictates otherwise. Although holiday periods and weekly hours are regulated, employers have more power over the lifestyles of their employees than at any time in decades. Annualised hours contracts force employees to work when there is demand for their labour, regardless of the consequences to home life or commitments.
…..After the Reformation the Quakers rediscovered the economic advantages that could be obtained from an ordered life of limiting work by adhering to a cycle which included a Sunday completely free of work. From that was developed a range of industrial and commercial enterprises in which the workers had time to take their leisure. Cadbury’s model village of Bourneville in Birmingham was designed around a normal pattern of family life in which the workers were encouraged to engage in sports, cultivate their gardens, maintain their health and participate in religious activities.
More recently, the Gower Handbook of Management notes, ‘Relaxation can be achieved in two ways. The first is to carry out any activity which distracts the mind from work. A happy home life, religious activity, gardening, sport, hobbies; all of these are good forms of relaxation. ..’
Religions make space for many different patterns of life. But the importance many, not least Christianity, attach to a shared period of rest is to be ignored at our peril. Whether that rest should be every day, every week, every month or every season will be open to debate. But the point is that simply leaving the business of rest to the marketplace of personal choice results in a relentless 24/7 culture, with all the personal, social and environmental stress that we are becoming familiar with. 24/7 is unsustainable. Everyone would benefit from taking a Sabbath.
Do you strive to take a day off? How do you observe your Sabbath?