Rest

The following was quoted by Soo Inn Tan in his weekly e-commentary, Grace at Work. It deserves to be read by more people.

“An excellent way to address our tendencies to overwork and to overestimate our irreplaceability is to incorporate some Sabbath observance into our lives. Sabbath time requires us to stop doing what we usually do and surrender for a while our efforts to act upon the world. If we regularly suspend our usual activities and simply let things be, it is likely to become apparent to us, over time, that our intervention is not continually required.

In discussing Sabbath practices drawn from a wide range of spiritual traditions, the minister and therapist Wayne Muller noted, ‘The problem is not necessarily working hard, the problem is working so hard and long without rest that we begin to imagine we’re the ones making everything happen. We begin to feel a growing, gnawing sense of responsibility and grandiosity about how important our work is and how we can’t stop because everything is on our shoulders. We forget that forces much larger than we are, in fact, do most of the work.'”
[Anne Winchell Silver, TRUSTWORTHY CONNECTIONS, p. 88-89]

It is good for me to have this break from work, though I am not idle. It is so easy as a doctor to “begin to feel a growing, gnawing sense of responsibility and grandiosity about how important our work is and how we can’t stop because everything is on our shoulders.” Right now there is no-one who depends on me for anything much, except my “nearest and dearest”! And that is definitely a good thing. They have not had much of me in the last few years. Perhaps I am beginning to understand right priorities, but without this time off I may never have noticed, being so taken up with my own self importance and indispensability.

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One thought on “Rest

  1. I am glad you found that quote from my book! You have made a courageous move, and I know from experience how hard it can be to step away from such an important part of your identity. From your most recent post it sounds like you are on the right track in looking at how to be a positive factor in people’s lives in other ways. May God bless you.

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