The clerk at the post office has my uncle’s voice.
I heft my packages onto the counter, hunt in my purse for my wallet.
“Priority?” He says this, like my uncle, using as few words as possible.
I am startled. Every time I am startled.
Why is my uncle at my post office, 1868 miles from his home on the side of the mountain?
I keep meaning to ask the clerk where he is from. Meaning to and not doing.
Maybe they are sharing it.
Only one can use it at a time.
Carefully chosen words.
But after I left school, I soon learnt from my brief experience of the fashionable “set” in Buxton that a family’s estimate of its intrinsic importance is not always associated with qualifications which immediately convert the outsider to the same point of view. – Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth
If we are truly thankful for the gifts of God, these same gifts will be cherished and cared for. If they are not well cared for, we will have to assume that gratitude and praise have been overcome by our anxieties, fears, obsessions, insensitivities, and arrogance. – Norman Wirzba in Sabbath Living
This rings true to me. Wirzba is quick to apply this thinking to our eating habits, but I believe it is equally applicable to other areas. Possessions. Talents. Homes. Children. Money. Time. Am I cherishing and caring for these gifts?
Our move toward more responsible food consumption has been slow, but measurable. This year our garden will be a little bigger, our preserving plan a little more robust. We continue to purchase more of our food from local sources. It still feels like we have a long way to go. Approaching this via a Sabbath road might make it feel easier or more possible. At least more necessary.
Wirzba reminds us that the penalty for not observing Sabbath was death. I do believe that by not taking the time to honor Sabbath and truly rest, many of us are heading quickly toward just that – death. Choosing life by being intentional about what activities fill our calendars, what items enter our homes, and what attitudes live in our hearts seems like the right direction.