Two days ago I began a journey- a 52 week journey of spiritual formation. I am walking this journey with a new friend and together we will discuss a variety of topics- everything from mapping our life’s journey to our personal theologies of time and our honest relationship with the Bible.
I will be sharing my thoughts about this journey, called The 7th Year, with you as I go. I hope you’ll cheer me on during the weeks it get’s tough...and maybe begin the journey yourself.
The 7th Year, written and hosted by Alicia Britt Chole, is an e-journey. Each week I get an email with a some thought provoking material and a guided discussion/activity. My friend and I will discuss our thoughts on the weekly email- in person and electronically...whichever suits our week the best.
I was intrigued by the title- The 7th Year. Chole writes that
“When we study the biblical passages about the 7th, Sabbath, year, this command contains several challenging components:
- Rest the land and hear the Law
- Release slaves and cancel debts
- Make no profit and give generously.
In an agricultural community, such a year would drastically change the fabric of a community. Space would be startling (and space is very telling).
The 7th Year is a focused space, neither extra nor empty, but devoted and healing.
There is something in the name, The 7th Year, that marries hope—a life-giving yet invisible substance—with a participation that is tangible. There is something about the name that fuses a fragrant, timeless mystery with a compelling, timely invitation.”
Doesn’t that just make you want to sit still and join me? If this strikes you as AWESOME, you can download a free sample of her email....you can read what I got to read this last week. You can do the activity- mapping your life- that I was able to do. Visit her website www.the7thyear.com and see for yourself!
Heartache and hope- things the 7th year allows.
All this talk about 7 years and life mapping causes me to ask what have I been doing the last 7 years of my life. Thinking back to February 2005.... Gil and I were in our second year of marriage. We were in the first year as directors of Chi Alpha Campus Ministry at Longwood University. We didn't have kids yet. We lived on Franklin Street in a super cute little house. And the previous month I asked Annette to mentor me- certainly a life-changing moment. (You can read her own wise words here and here.) The last 7 years have brought about such change in my life. I have fought battles that ended in victory and defeat, I have made choices that brought life-long lessons, I have found friends that will remain close despite miles, and hopefully, I have gained some wisdom from all of it. This season of itinerating for Chi Alpha @ Uconn and transition from VA to CT has caused my to ask questions that have never crossed my mind, confront unspoken and internal values I gathered somewhere in life, and walk a faith tightrope like never before.
I am up for a year of Sabbath. In a somewhat literal sense and entirely figurative sense, I am ready to step back and think through this life of mine.
Has the soil where life has taken place been stripped of it's nutrients? Would a time of rest/sabbath/fallow replenish the components necessary for healthy life?