THE JUSTICE PROJECT | Blog | Life is Not a Walk in the Park So Don't Forget to Take One

Life is not a walk in the park, so don’t forget to take one

One of the lessons that’s tough to learn when you’re young and impossible to forget as you get older is: Just because nothing is happening doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

Every woman learns that pregnancy’s period of waiting has everything to do with giving birth. Yes, Ecclesiastes got it right: To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

In the Torah (the Hebrew Bible) in the parsha (section) call Behar, which literally means “On The Mountain’ a concept entitled ‘Shmita’ is introduced. This is the sanctification of an entire year every Sabbath year, every seventh year. It is a time of debt release, societal sharing, but also a time of agricultural rest. During the Shmita year it is forbidden to plant crops, or harvest crops, or fail to honor the land with rest

For all of us, life on Terra Firma, firm earth, would be a little more stable if we remembered to take a time out, and give a time out, to the world we live in, and the people who planet the world we live in. Offering and giving rest also means giving rest to the worries that somehow we won’t make enough, become wealthy enough, or have enough to leave our kids. Perhaps of all the things we can give ourselves, or our children, or each other, little is more giving back than a time out.

And if we think on the importance of pausing one year in seven, imagine if we lent peace to ourselves and our planet, one month in seven, or one week in seven, or one day in seven, or one hour in seven, or one minute in seven, or even one second in seven. Imagine our lives if one second in every seven we just stopped…in our heart…in our mind’s eye…and said, ahhhhh! Surely this would be a gain and not a loss in a life that is already made too brief by trying to do too much. My friends, the faster we go in life the sooner our life is a blur.

Environmental justice is more than us giving a fair shake to the planet. Environmental justice is also about us discovering that the peace we give to the world we live in is the deliverance of peace to ourselves.

Many years ago I read a prayer that began with asking God for Peace and Blessings. And I asked myself why the request was in that order. One would think that if your life was blessed there was little more you could request. But then I thought again.

Any peace we find in life is its own blessing. And any blessing that does not bring us peace is no blessing.

To enjoy your time on planet earth, don’t forget to take – and give – a time out.

Life is not a walk in the park, so don’t forget to take one.

Peace and blessings.

Noah benShea
Executive Director
The Justice Project