One of my favorite parts of Sabbath is the chance to sleep. Being awake is one of those spiritual metaphors for attention, so it sometimes seems really funny to me to awaken spiritually to sleep.
Reverence for life involves reverence for our selves. We are hardly living in reverence when we are exhausted all the time, or when we binge on sleep and then on sleeplessness. In a society where those who can be more productive are considered more valuable, needing sleep is often considered a weakness. Yet we all do need rest.
Being awake to our limitations is part of the spiritual, self-aware life. When I’m struggling accepting those limitations, it is often because I don’t think I have enough time now to do what needs to be done. But being exhausted does not exactly increase my productivity.
Being exhausted can send us into a hallucinatory state of being. Rest brings us back to the here and now.
It takes time to unlearn busyness, accept our limitations, and embrace rest as a practice of reverence. Fortunately, keeping Sabbath, especially in the lengthening Sabbaths of spring and summer, opens a window in each week for rest.