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The Year of Jubilee

I loved every job I ever had. Scooping ice cream at High’s, sales clerk at Shirley Pewter Shop in Williamsburg (dream job for a college student!), Admissions at my alma mater, Financial Aid at a major university. (Okay – maybe love isn’t the right word for this last one. It’s a story all its own, but there I learned about myself, my abilities, and people. It toughened me for sure and that was a good thing.) And then, Development. Fundraising suited me better than anyone could have thought. I really expected to work until I was 70, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I was a driven Type-A, and the excitement of the work fed me energy.

So, my decision to retire early astonished quite a few friends. Indeed, it came as a bit of a surprise to me as I came to realize the job I truly loved had also sucked the spiritual life out of me. The demands of metrics. The insistence of email. The expectations of ever-increasing results. The tyranny of correspondence. Those things and the sometimes overwhelming needs of people in my life combined to weary me. I felt like I was chasing money, chasing myself. Something had to change.

As I discussed all of this with my therapist she suggested that maybe I needed a Year of Jubilee, that ancient Jewish custom revealed in Leviticus 25:8-13. This 49-year cycle in the old Biblical calendar culminated in a year of liberty for slaves and freedom from debts. Land reverted to original owners and God’s mercies were expected to be particularly manifest. In the fiftieth year the Israelites were to “proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.” It was to be a Jubilee!

People were to return to the land of their family. They were not to sow nor reap - not even the things that simply grew. I guess they were to eat what they had set aside. There is a sense of delight and abandonment, freedom from the usual chores of field work, freedom from the constraints of being apart from family in a world where perhaps all felt alien.

With Jubilee one came home in a literal sense. Property was returned to original owners. I found it fascinating that these “clean slate” laws are found in Babylonian history, too, and served to keep down the accumulation of wealth by a few. Those borrowing would get so far in debt that they became virtual slaves. Babylonian kings periodically would wipe out debts to equalize the economic playing field when things got out of balance. How like today! “Wealth redistribution” is a 21st Century buzz phrase and it is widely unpopular in power circles now as I am sure it was with the wealthy of that era. One source I read ( “The Lost Tradition of Biblical Debt Cancellations”) contends that this Levitical law was a “significant advance” because its timing was known and predictable, not the random whim of a king. People could plan.

In my year of Jubilee there was no property to give back nor was any coming to me, but the other aspect of Jubilee applied. It was a year to enjoy the fruits of previous labor.

Jubilee is also a reminder that what I have is not truly mine, but belongs to Spirit, to God, to Gaia – Mother Earth. This is not a belief unique to me. It is shared by the Hopi tribe and many other indigenous peoples. Western culture is the one that seems to have forgotten the land as our mother. I am a steward of all that has been given to me. Jubilee is a reminder that constant grabbing only leads to more grabbing.

Then there was the wonderful evening when I realized the importance of the word enough and I thought, “I’ve had enough; I have enough; I am enough.” Months of challenges – like extensive termite damage at my home – had worn me out. Enough! I added up my retirement savings and realized, I could live just fine. Enough is abundance. And I am enough. God created me with enough energy, determination, joy, intelligence to live. It was time for my year of Jubilee.

This was a year of liberty for reconnect with my Higher Self, to explore spiritual venues, to consider holy places, to deepen old and dear friendships, to discover new friends, to worry less about doing and concentrate more fully on being, to give love unconditionally, to find my heart center, to return to Mother Earth.

To consider what I will plant in future years.

To get rid of the excess stuff that clutters my house and therefore me.

To dream beautiful dreams – not necessarily big or bold – just beautiful.

To gain relationship with the animals in the world of my yard and forest.

To allow God’s mercies to manifest in my life.

My year of Jubilee officially ended, but it unleashed a Liberty of spirit, a Freedom of soul that invites you to celebrate your own Jubilee. Find your own definition of enough and live in an abundance that simply flows from Spirit.

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7 commentaires

29 sept. 2019



29 sept. 2019

“I’ve had enough; I have enough; I am enough.” Such a great reminder. Enough is definitely enough. It is all that is necessary. I cannot thank you, enough.


29 sept. 2019

So impressed and proud of you!!

So many people trudging through this life- existing, but not living.

You are living your best life!!

I know this will motivate many others to do that for themselves too.

Keep living, writing, traveling, and learning!


29 sept. 2019

Your words bring joy to my heart as you have done. Keep going ... I love it!!


28 sept. 2019

Thank you for the bright light of JOY which shines through all of your writing today!!!

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