BBT on Sabbath

One of my major areas of interest (personally and professionally) is Sabbath-keeping. Since this trip is a sort of extended Sabbath experience, I’ve collected some quotes and thoughts about the topic to share while I’m away. Ah, the miracle of scheduled posts…

Here’s a quote from Barbara Brown Taylor from her incredible book An Altar in the World:

The great Swiss theologian Karl Barth wrote, ‘A being is free only when it can determine and limit its activity.’ By that definition, I have a hard time counting many free beings among my acquaintance. I know people who can do five things at once who are incapable of doing nothing. I know people who can decide what to do without being able to do less of it. Since I have been one of these people, I know that saying no is a more difficult spiritual practice than tithing, praying on a cold stone floor, or visiting a prisoner on death row.

Photo: a large cairn on top of Dun I in Iona, which always comes to mind with BBT’s book title, An Altar in the World.


One thought on “BBT on Sabbath

  1. lukeluke says:

    The taoteching talks a lot about “doing nothing” and the limitations of living a busy life. There 2 verses come to mind.

    “Those who seek learning gain every day
    those who seek the Way lose every day
    they lose and they lose until they find nothing to do
    nothing to do means nothing not done
    who rules the world isn’t busy
    if someone is busy she can’t rule the world”

    “Who tiptoes doesn’t stand
    who strides doesn’t walk
    who watches himself doesn’t appear
    who displays himself doesn’t flourish
    who flatters himself achieves nothing
    who parades himself doesn’t lead
    on the road they say too much food and a tiring pace
    some things are simply bad thus the Taoist avoids them”

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