Last night my husband and I pulled into our driveway after 11 hours on the road with a van full of tired kids, dirty laundry, and a back windshield void of glass and elaborately covered in duct tape due to a rock our 4-year old put through the window two days prior. We’d spent three days and four nights in the beautiful, lake-side woods of northern CA in unseasonably cold weather – combining our first multi-night camping trip as a family of five with practice in winter-tenting. (Photo-disclosure: it snowed near but not at our campsite.) It was a huge adventure and well worth it; more details from the trip will no doubt follow in upcoming posts.
This morning I saw that a post I’d written for Christianity Today about Sabbath-keeping called Our Restless Lives came out last week, just before we left. This timing seems especially fitting because Wendy Mogul’s analogy of Sabbath-keeping with a trip to the wilderness resonates with me and our family’s experience. As I quoted in my last post about the Sabbath, “What? Day of Rest?”, Mogul:
“cites a rabbi who compares the Sabbath’s ‘sense of timelessness to river rafting or being in the wilderness. Preparing for such a trip – finding the right maps, inspecting equipment, packing the car – is so much trouble you wonder if it’s worth the effort. You have to work so hard to prepare to stop. But once on the river, with no watches or other obligations, time can unfold and expand in a natural rhythm.’ You can’t get into the natural rhythm – stop and enjoy life – till you’ve done the work to get away (literally, figuratively, or both) from the daily grind.”
It was a lot of work to prepare for that trip. There were a lot of hours in the car with our kids to reach our destination. But the experience there was one we could never have recreated at home, and it was fabulous. Our trip was a Sabbath from our regular life… just as our day of rest should be a Sabbath from our regular week and mindset. There is catch-up to do on the flip side sometimes (as the mounds of laundry around me attest), but who cares? I’ll take refreshment, widened perspective, deepened relationships with my family members, and a renewed sense of the adventure of life over the annoyances of prep and clean-up any day.