January 1, 2015 The Question You Should Ask Yourself Every Day In 2015
With so many responsibilities in our lives, it’s no wonder why it can be so challenging to find time to take a breath, relax and recharge. Everyone can benefit from taking this type of time-out, and for many people of faith — like former Episcopal priest and current professor of religion Barbara Brown Taylor — this day of rest happens each week, on the Sabbath.
Though she describes herself as a “contrarian Christian,” Taylor finds peace and joy in honoring the Sabbath. As she tells Oprah in a conversation from “Super Soul Sunday,” it’s a time when she allows herself to focus on simple but empowering activities.
“I do the things that I know give me life, that I otherwise never take time to do,” Taylor explains.
Whether it’s reading a book from cover to cover or cooking an amazing dinner for a few friends, Taylor feels rejuvenated after these moments — and Oprah understands why. “I think that’s a really important question for all of us to ask,” Oprah says. “What is giving you life?”
“It’s a great question, and it has to be asked almost every day,” Taylor says.
The answer, she adds, is often changing. “I am a woman of a certain age. I’ve been very productive in my life, and [now] the ordinary is calling to me like it has never called to me before… It is the slowed-down, ordinary things of life,” she says. “So… what is saving my life now is Sabbath, while I practice what it means to be human on the days I’m not being productive.”
Oprah then points out that the idea of being “more human” is something everyone is here to strive for. “I remember reading that in [your book] Leaving Church, that all of the experiences — the dark ones, the light ones — are really all here just to help us to embrace our humanity more fully,” she says. “That it’s all just about trying to be more human.”
Not just human, Taylor clarifies, but fully human.
“I stick ‘fully’ human in there because there are all kinds of ways to be human,” she says. “There are plenty of days I want to be less than human, and days I’m tempted to be more than human. To be fully human is a nice in-between.”