Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Sunday

I am going to forgo the predictable intro in which I describe my state of stress and anxiety. Everyone knows the story. Which is why, as an "assignment" for the Marsh Associates this week, Jennifer Quigley and Soren Hessler encouraged us to incorporate the practice of keeping Sabbath into our schedule. This is something that has given me no end of trouble in the past. Keeping the Sabbath is a wonderful practice, necessary to reconnect with God, community, and the self; and, unfortunately, something I have not been successful at enacting.

The solution to this problem was apparently being commanded to keep the Sabbath as a part of my internship (believe me readers, I am fully aware of the irony here). And so, last Sunday I set out on my long run for the week. As I was huffing and puffing my way up and down Newton's "gently rolling hills," I realized that even my stress-busting exercise routine was becoming just another appointment to keep. I stopped, caught my breath, and started walking. Then, when walking started to seem too ordinary, I began to stroll.

For the first time in the week, I took time to do absolutely nothing. I took in the scene unfolding around me, the sounds of other joggers, the cars passing on the street, and let it all dissipate into background noise. A half hour later I called my dad and reconnected with my community back home, asking about his life, the well-being of my grandparents, of my siblings. After fifteen minutes of chatting, I settled into a walking meditation. I thanked God for the problems and challenges that keep me sharp, for the lives of others that put my own life into perspective, for the day. Rising on the crest of my prayer, I shook my legs out, and ran home.

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