This is one weird book.
It’s weird because it seems to come from some other planet, some other way of life, some method that none of us are really capable of. It’s so foreign to our experience that it will probably get tossed aside by most, or even worse: called “a great read” but never really seep down in the bones.
The title is not overly dramatic. Sabbath is a highly subversive practice, so difficult to do that barely any of us in the Christian US manage to practice it well, if at all. To be a believer truly makes you a subversive. To be a subversive gets you closer to the world where God intended us to live.
The text goes to great pains to point out practical, biological, and spiritual reasons to follow a proper Sabbath. It extends all the way out to the world, it even subverts our ravenous need to tame and conquer. Very few of us are comfortable allowing that level of disruption.
I am not left feeling good about my personal practice after reading this book. I am left somehow sad, wishing I could be closer to the Sabbath ideal that Swoboda describes. I want to make plans. I want to plant gardens and sit more. I want to be present for moments instead of sprinting through them. Life could be so much more than it is if we could allow that to happen.
May I challenge you not to look away? May I stand with you in your discomfort as we hope together for something better? I hope so. I hope I have not been left unchanged by this vision of greater things.