I had to run to Costco today to pick up a few things for our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Walking past the first checkout line with no less than 20 people in it, I said audibly into the air “this might have been the worst idea I’ve had all day.” I knew we wouldn’t be rushing in and out like I’d planned. And then, as these things go, I’d get caught in rush hour traffic, and have to rush to finish dinner, and because that would be running behind we’d be rushing to get into bed too.
Maybe the hustle and bustle is energizing for you, but day in and day out, hustle and bustle isn’t sustainable for healthy people…or healthy organizations.
As we move into this season of Advent and begin turning our hearts towards a Silent Night where a Holy God came into the world, I find myself wanting to buck the hustle and bustle and instead just lean into the sacred to refuel and recharge. I find myself longing for deeper Sabbath to more intimately engage the holy.
The word Sabbath means “rest.” It began in the very Beginning when on the seventh day God himself sat back to admire all that He had done. It continued all throughout the Bible as generations of God’s people sat down their plows, scythes, hammers and nails and they spent a full day of the week simply resting and reflecting on the goodness of God and recharging for what was to come.
Somehow our culture has trained us that Sabbath is a waste of a day…or a waste of valuable time. But anyone who has walked in the hustle and bustle long enough knows that if you never slow to recharge or step back enough to reflect, the hustle and bustle will run you right over.
Allume began in 2010 as a space for Christian bloggers, authors, writers, and kindred spirits to gather and recharge…to equip and encourage one another in our online spaces, and to refresh our spirits with the vision that can come only from the Creator. The vision has continued and the space has always remained true not only to be a space to gather, but to be a space to really learn to live out the callings that God has on each of our lives. It is our greatest pleasure and honor to cultivate this space where year after year we see God move in mighty ways both at the conference and in the online community.
And as we enter our seventh year of the conference, our entire team has continued to hear the word “Rest.” We have all been considering Sabbath and what it means to step back to reflect long enough to fill our hearts with gratitude for what God has done. But we want to create enough space to listen for what God might want to do ahead as well.
Part of what makes Allume so special is that the majority of our team members are volunteer. The planning and work that goes on to create the space is the most beautiful labor of love throughout the whole year that most people don’t even see. Because our leadership believes in listening to the Holy Spirit and creating space for the Lord to move, we are going to take some time off to create that space. From the time one conference ends, we are already fully planning the next, and so it goes…the cycle continues…and the hustle and bustle catch up.
So as crazy as the business world would say it is, and as crazy as conference planners have told us we are, and as much as we wonder sometimes “what will happen if….”, we have prayerfully and confidently arrived at the decision that for the Allume organization, 2016 will be a year of Sabbath.
Over and over at the conference we heard so many of this community saying it too… “I’m so tired… I need a break… I feel like life is running me over and passing me by.” It seems that for so many, Sabbath or sabbatical may be in order. So while it seems perhaps a little crazy for an entire organization to step back, that’s what we want to do not only to create the space for ourselves to hear the Lord, but also to set an example and give you permission to do it too.
We will still continue to share a few things on the blog here and there and cultivate community in relationships in the online community and in real life, but we will be taking some time off from the conference as we celebrate this seventh year of Allume. We want to step fully into the things God is setting before each of us in this next season and we want to fully engage the life and people around us as we take time to rest and reflect. This isn’t goodbye, this is so much better….because this is Sabbath and we invite you to step into it with us.
All our love,
Logan Wolfram and the Allume Team