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Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,560 ratings  ·  194 reviews
In today's world, with its relentless emphasis on success and productivity, we have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between work and rest. Constantly striving, we feel exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. We long for time with friends and family, we long for a moment to ourselves.

Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Bantam (first published April 6th 1999)
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 ·  1,560 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Brad Feld
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had Digital Sabbath #3 yesterday. I turned off my phone and computer Friday at sundown and didn't turn them back on until Sunday morning. I'm starting to enjoy the pattern and had a lot of relief yesterday from the complete disconnect. We had dinner at our house with friends Friday night, Amy and I did some stuff in the morning together, I went for a 9 mile run, took a nap in the afternoon, and we had dinner last night with friends and then watched some comedy on tv afterwards. My brain was ...more
Ryan Jankowski
Oct 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was a gift. I had never heard of the author, but was of the impression that this was a Christian presentation of Sabbath rest. That is not the case. This book most definitely was not written from a Christian perspective. The author is Unitarian. It Mr. Muller's syncretistic effort to unify all traditions of 'rest' and place them neatly under the title of 'sabbath' (linguistic revisionism, but hey, if it sells books).

For Christians, Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mat 12.8) and he is
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of those life-changing books. I read it 2 years ago and keep coming back to it. It has a simple message: we are not machines, and we cannot thrive in our constantly "on" culture. We have been designed to delight in rhythm and rest. What I love about this book is has Judeo-Christian roots, but is accessible to folks who don't adhere to a particular faith. There are mini essays (3-5 pages) developing a particular facet of Sabbath, followed by 1st person descriptions of a particular Sabbath ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've returned to this book annually since it was first published, and always go away from it with something new. What worried or chafed before, a few years later, turned out to make sense to me in new circumstances. What seemed most profound, lived out over a few years, seemed everyday common sense. That's the thing about good books of spiritual practice: you meet them in different ways at different times in your life and they still have something to teach you, something to surprise you, ...more
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book: my first introduction to Wayne Muller. In it, he explores all kinds of elements of our lives today and how we can find greater satisfaction -- delight! -- and greater peace within the madness of the world. What I love is that Wayne is both an incredible writer and has very thoughtful, well-researched chapters, each of which ends with a practical exercise to try in your life. Very helpful combination of reflection and action.
Wayne Muller’s thesis is that Sabbath is good. He explores the fundamental need for rest, its origin in creation and its placement in major world religions. There is a fundamental rhythmicity to nature, Muller contends, and that is no accident. We are created to need rest; therefore Sabbath is created for us. As this is a natural truth, Muller finds much support from other faith traditions, with similar rest practices.

Muller rests heavily on the creation account for his assertion
Danielle DeVane Wells
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This very excellent book about taking time out of your week to rest,commonly referred to as "Sabbath", is worth the money I spent on it. My personality type (ISTJ & Enneagram 1) has hard time slowing down from accomplishing tasks and must be told to STOP! Otherwise I keep on going and eventually burn out. So this book gave me the permission to feel as if stopping to rest is helpful to my physical and emotional well-being.

Some quotes from the book that resonated with me:
~Sabbath is about joy
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Peaceful book on rest but was not really written from the Christian or Jewish perspective but from the universalist, pluralistic perspective. It made it hard to read for me because while the concepts and stories about resting were peaceful and good, often pluralism was knocking on the door.

If one could chew the meat and spit out the bones, this could be a book to read on resting well.
Daniel Joshua
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Talk about juicy ecumenism. All in all the book itself was a sabbath read for me, and it was great to read it with school and whatnot going on. I disliked his inclusiveness, he was like a more dusty and vague Nouwen. On the whole however it was a much needed book for me to read. The elements of restful rhythm are quite a stern rebuke to American entertainment/consumerism.
Fawn Carriker
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I needed to read this book. I probably need to be regularly bashed about the head and shoulders with it, and read it monthly. My friends know my habit of over-scheduling myself--there are so many things I want to do and believe passionately about that I find myself busy beyond belief with absolutely no room for refreshment.

"Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives" is a beautiful reminder of the importance of balance and rhythm in our lives. Wayne Muller encourages us to
Jul 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to John by: Olin Knudsen
Rating: C+

Worth the read. Helps me to realize that to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8) requires intentionality. The demands of our lives create our forgetfulness. A time and a way of resting from the world and toward our Creator is not only a commandment, but needed for the restoration and renewal of our soul.

"Henri Nouwen was a dear friend of mine, a brother, priest, and mentor. He was also a fiercely asture observer of our worried, overfilled lives. Henri insisted
Amy Webb
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a great practical read about Sabbath. Not limited to merely a day of rest but much more broad idea. Examples to incorporate rest in your daily life are at the end of each chapter. I would highly recommend this book! I actually bought a copy because this is the first book in my life that I wanted to highlight in!
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I'm not religious, the idea of Sabbath really resonates with me. I may not set aside regular time 'off' (not just talking about weekends here), but I certainly enjoy my down time. On one hand, I may feel as if I'm just being lazy--I should be doing 'something', but this book was a lovely reminder that this down time is a necessity. To reboot, relax, unplug, play (with others, music, in nature...), to let it be.

Though the book is written by a minister and discusses spiritual traditions,
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual, favorites
Even reading two pages in this book left me with a deep, still sense of peace. This book so beautifully highlights the need for rest, for time to slow down, for time to appreciate. Nothing in nature is blooming all year round, Muller points out, so we need to take time too to let ourselves rest and become revitalized.
Keep a pencil nearby, because there's a lot to underline!
Antoinette Verdone
Oct 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book really will teach you why and how to rest. At the end of each chapter is a exercise that helps you understand how to practically apply the ideas, which I find very helpful. This book really changed the way I though!
Téa Oliver
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A breath of fresh air in our current culture of rushing and straining. Muller spoke about the Sabbath both as the day of the week and of the soul, which is a take you don't often see.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book slowly and meditatively is a Sabbath in itself.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I first sat down to write my book on the Power of Rest, I hadn't heard of this book on Sabbath. The consistency of observation as to what happens when a habit of rest is observed, therefore, is quite fascinating to me. From that perspective, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I also appreciated the first-hand accounts of how other individuals observe Sabbath throughout the day and week. Concurrently, I was saddened by the underlying spiritual tone of the book. While the author presents many ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a nutshell -- this wonderful book, published 20 years ago, consists of meaningful musings from a modern-day, religious idler and its subject - importance of the Sabbath - is both depressing and inspiring.

It is discouraging to read knowing that the basis of the Sabbath is sadly more needed and relevant now than ever, especially as our society has only become increasingly distracted and disconnected in this media and device-addicted era.

However, Muller's pre-21st-century perspective, means
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Writing a review 1.5 years after I listened to this book but would like to do so for the sake of completion. I recall this book was quite influential for me and actually got me to change my lifestyle - I cancelled the regular rides I did on Sunday mornings in lieu of staying at home to rest and relax as the book advised and have been rather careful about my Sundays ever since. So I would say it was life-changing in this way. I have a particular love for books that extoll the virtues of rest and ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The world seduces us with an artificial urgency that requires us to respond without listening to what is most deeply true." This book is full of truth that we need to hear on repeat. The idea of Sabbath is so much richer because it can be woven throughout our life. We all need time to rest and practice the beautiful art of doing nothing well (like the Italians). This book is a gentle and poetic reminder that our work will never be finished but we can choose to just stop. Rest, sing, nap, ...more
Mindy Danylak
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could love this book more but I'll have to become more of a person first. My depths and my day-to-day are met on nearly every page. I love how I feel when I read it, I love the ideas I'm offered, I love the rest, the reminders toward presence and being awake, I love the sense of companionship with others across traditions, the layout and the size of each page, the scale of the font and the distribution of themes and poetry. This book is a gift and one I've returned to repeatedly as a resource ...more
Dianne Oliver
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I have read this twice. It's such a refreshing reminder of all the varied aspects of Sabbath rest and what a tremendous gift this was to us. From literal Sabbath to how we can become Sabbath rest for others by being quiet and listening to their grief. God didn't rest because He was tired, He was still creating, creating peace, refreshment, and a time for reflection and glory to our creator. this is a good thing.
David Thomas
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book at a used book store as I began my research for a study of the Sabbath. A quick glance gave me evidence of the easy reading of simple but revealing lessons and wisdom laid out by Wayne Muller. Seven sections with the titles of "Rest, Rhythm, Time, Happiness, Wisdom, Consecration," and "A Sabbath Day," follow his preface of "Remember the Sabbath." He talks at length about the lost cycles and rhythm of our lives which have been destroyed by the relentless societal drive of ...more
Carol Fairman
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
For someone like me, that is always on the go, this was a critical read. Often Sabbath gets pushed aside so I can 'catch up around the house' or attend to other things.

This book really addresses its importance along with a deep Biblical understanding of the different ways one can enter into Sabbath.

The practice steps were intriguing and challenging for me. I was able to try a few new ways to approach my personal Sabbath.

Christy Lindsay
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't know where I saw this book recommended, but I was expecting it to be a Christian book and I was mistaken. The author references Buddha more than he has spread. There are many new age philosophies and Unitarian views. the author does make some good points about the need for rest, but as a Bible believing christian that's about all I got out of this book.
Shaunda Bradley
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book! It’s a good reminder of how to live life.., I try to read it about once a year because I need a refresher. Life gets busy and stressful, but that’s now how God intended us to live.
Sarah Bradshaw
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some really great points in this book that I appreciated, and that were wonderfully challenging to me. However, the author’s theology is entirely counter-biblical and I found that even though he had a few true things to say, many things he said came from a place of untruth.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I really enjoyed this book. The exercises are easy to incorporate into daily life. It really spoke to me about stresses in my life and how they correlate to not having sabbath time. I highly recommend this book.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have to rate 5 stars as it was a gift from my kids reminding me to slow down and take time for self and for rest. The fact that it took me 8 months to read reminds me I needed it. When I finally decided to read a chapter a night, it was a great way to take that special time for self.
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“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, 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.” 22 likes
“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center."
— Wayne Muller (Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives)”
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