As we begin our Jubilee year and think more and more deeply about Sabbath, I’m beginning to see that “keeping the Sabbath holy” is not about getting things perfectly right, but about trusting God enough to relax a little bit. It’s more about our intentions than it is our results. It’s like an old story about the great composer, Igor Stravinsky. He was famous for writing extremely difficult musical passages. One time, he created a violin interlude so challenging that a master violinist told Stravinsky it was impossible to play. Stravinsky replied, “I don’t want the sound of someone playing the passage. I want the sound of someone trying to play it.”
God knows we often miss the mark. What matters to God is our willingness to try. Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist monk and author, once wrote that “the desire to please God does in fact please God.” That’s comforting to me – to know that what pleases God is not how well we check every box of faithfulness, but instead, our imperfect obedience.
I believe our year of Jubilee, no matter how clumsily we might actually do it, is also pleasing to God – so come and join the celebration!