When we live without listening to the timing of things--when we live and work in twenty-four-hour shifts without rest--we are on war time, mobilized for battle. Yes, we are strong and capable people, we can work without stopping, faster and faster, electric lights making artificial day so the whole machine can labor without ceasing. But remember: No living thing lives like this. There are greater rhythms that govern how life grows; circadian rhythms, seasons and hormonal cycles and sunsets and moonrises and great movements of seas and stars. We are part of the creation story, subject to all its laws and rhythms.
When we rest, we can relish the seasons of a moment, a day, a conversation. In relationships, we sense the rhythms of contact and withdrawal, of giving and receiving, of coming close, pulling away, and returning. To surrender to the rhythms of seasons and flowerings and dormancies is to savor the secret of life itself.
Many scientists believe we are 'hard-wired' like this, to live in rhythmic awareness, to be in and then step out, to be engrossed and then detached, to work and then to rest. It follows then that the commandment to remember the Sabbath is not a burdensome requirement from some law-giving deity--"You ought, you'd better, you must"--but rather a remembrance of a law that is firmly embedded in the fabric of nature. It is a reminder of how things really are, the rhythmic dance to which we unavoidably belong.