Do Nothing

She’s always getting ready for nothing. Harriet is the busiest person on the planet and yet no one understands what it is she actually does. Her son Michael remembers his childhood and the loneliness of being Harriet’s kid. He hated his Mom’s jam-packed schedule. He vowed that he would never to be too busy for his own kids.

But life got in the way. His job is demanding and he soon found himself busy doing nothing. Nothing too important that is. Michael was repeating the same mistakes as his Mom, he knew something had to change.


One evening when he was dropping off one of his kids at Hebrew school, the Rabbi got a hold of him. They began with casual chit-chat. Then the Rabbi told Michael he “looked tired,” and offered up a challenge: Spend the next sabbath intentionally doing nothing. Start by coming to temple to join in the community worship, then go home and do nothing.

And he did. First, he got ready to do nothing. He arranged for his wife and kids to do nothing the following Saturday. They started the morning in prayer and followed it up with an afternoon of intentional inactivity.

A feeling of peace and contentment overcame him. His calm was contagious and his family felt it. The one sabbath spent in rest was followed by another and then another. It became routine to do nothing after going to temple on Saturday.


When his youngest daughter was asked what she liked best about the sabbath, she said, “It’s the only time my Daddy doesn’t rush away.”

The sabbath is a blessing.


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  • Susan Diamond

    Amen to that Brenda, well said!

  • Brenda J Wood

    May we never be accused of being so busy that we accomplish nothing…Brenda J Wood
    author-Meeting Myself, Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind.

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