You know the feeling of anxiety to have a full schedule week in and week out and feel like you are losing ground? The Hebrew faith tradition reminds us that life is more than struggle and strife. Restoration and comfort are possible.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
What steals our rest and robs us of our comfort?
The constant toil of our own hands and insatiable hustle to make our lives happen is all too often the enemy from which we need salvation. In too many ways, I create my own Shadow of Death to walk through.
Our practices say more about our values than our words. If our lives feel more like the shadow of death than the green pastures our Good Shepard desires for our souls, perhaps we can examine our spiritual practices or explore new practices that will bring new life to our weary souls and tired feet. My community has several ways we practice our values:
- Practice gratitude every day. Out of the sense of awareness of what we have flows the conviction of what we have to give.
- Look for ‘generosity opportunities’ everywhere you go. Generosity takes us outside of ourselves – outside of our comfort zones, our to-do list, our schedules, and the concerns that consume us. Lift your eyes to look for the people that could use a little generosity.
- Give more than money. Choose to express generosity in ways that take you beyond your wallet – be generous with your time, your resources, your skills, your words, your networks, and your space.
- Join with others. We fervently believe that generosity begets (inspires, gives birth to, and nurtures) generosity. Invite others to join you in regular rhythms of generosity. Share a meal once a week and invite someone who’s new to the neighborhood. Make a list of items you have that you could share with your neighbors. Create a giving circle on Common Change and together meet the needs of those you care about.
- Make it intentional. Don’t simply wait for generosity opportunities to come your way. Build them into your regular schedule of life. Be intentional about making space for generosity. At Common Change we believe that change is greater than cents. We want our giving to be motivated by a choice towards a more generous lifestyle.
From Common Change Blog: https://www.commonchange.com/2015/01/12/change-cents/
“He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man. Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath