A Friend Helped Me Rethink Jubilee Expectations

I was talking to a friend who happens to be a priest.  I was asking him what he thought about “jubilee.”  
He said: “but… jubilee, in my thinking, still falls short of the kingdom. it implies a periodic (cyclical) correction of what we are doing wrong, rather than a permanent, repentant, change in behavior….the hope is to make it a way of life rather than a repeated pattern of correction.”

Ah, well said.  And relieving in a sense.  I don’t extend much grace to myself.  I remember a doctor telling me once to relax and I said, “How do you DO that?”  And I have actual evidence of my own brain when I was 9.  I have a list I made of all the needed tasks before school.  In the middle between “Practice paino (stet)” and “Brush teeth” was “Think.”  I still remember what that meant to me then.  The point was to reflect on whether this day had anything unique about it (library books due, clarinet needed) and to be hypervigilant about getting life right!


And I think I’m living there a bit (ok, totally) still. So even in my attempts to orient towards a jubilee mindset of less striving and effort and excess, and of more sabbath, I am doing it with my own strength (which is failing) and with a sense that I have to CHANGE instantly — vs. reorient gradually.  

I’d love, as my friend said about, to “make it a way of life” and I pray that that will happen.  But I need to think about small changes, envisioning this hope of change as God’s business to pull off (and mine simply to be open to), as I think of myself as a large cruise ship that actually cannot make quick changes in direction (where are the disco ball and the Lido Lounge?).

Grace needed.  Grace available.  No sweat.  Remind me.  Sometimes we most need to forgive ourselves.


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