Refuse to be Passive

A time of rest?

In Life in General on October 26, 2011 at 11:45 am

The yellow leaves on the tree outside are coated with droplets of rain.  The overcast sky reflects my state of being, mind, body, and soul– tired, uncertain, lamentable, surviving. Neither stormy nor sunny. While this may not make for an exuberant blog post, or a rant of anger, I hope it proves to be thoughtful. This is one of the first times I’ve stopped to think, to get out of my mental bubble and just take time to be. I’ve stepped back from what I should do, what has to be done, and what I’m procrastinating on. I’m taking a few moments to listen to my body. My shoulders tell me that my backpack is too heavy for a 4km trek to school and back. My head is telling me that there’s not much going on there. My eyes are telling me I need rest.

The concept of rest is one that I’ve been thinking on today. What is rest? How do we take time to rest? Why is quiet so intimidating? Why do I struggle to simply sit still and taking in the silence?

Today in the kitchen at school we had a brief moment of silence. The hood fans were off because we needed to increase the kitchen temperature to allow bread dough to rise. For a time, no one said anything, and even the noises of the dishpit ceased. It was glorious. I haven’t experienced quiet like that in weeks; or at least not that I’ve acknowledged and noticed.

Rest. Breathe in, breathe out. Rest is different than relaxing. I bake to relax, but to rest without sleep, to simply sit and be? That is a true rarity. I call myself a putterer– always on the go. Always wanting to be doing something, even if that something is eating while watching TV (a bad habit I’m trying to break).

I’ve also been thinking over the concept of Sabbath as a day to get away from the busyness of the week. It’s a day to step back from what consumes your time on a regular basis. Now that I’m in culinary school, it doesn’t simply mean not going in to work. I’m beginning to think it means something more. It means a day in which I step back from food. No cooking, no baking, and even–dare I say it– no eating? That’s right, no eating. A day in which I choose to fast. A day in which I choose to focus not on food, but on faith, life, friends, and family. It would be a day to realize that “man does not live by bread alone.” In a culture so focused on food, and in an industry in which food is mammon, a day to step back from food seems like an appropriate response. It would be an opportunity to re-center onesself, to keep from being “polluted by the world.” Also, it would serve as a reminder that while food is not the be-all and end-all, it is still a gift from God. It is made to be enjoyed, made to bring joy, and made to be consumed in moderation. It is a blessing. What better way to recognize a blessing than by going without for a time?

I’m still not sure how all of this is going to play out, but for now, I’m going to take some time to rest, reflect, and maybe even sleep. I’m going to take a few hours to reset myself before cooking dinner for 17 people. And while the number is slightly intimidating, during my time of rest, I choose to push it off to the back of my mind.

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