Why Vacation Feels like Sabbath | Arizona in October
When my husband and I were looking back on the past year and thought about our favorite memories, there was a common thread among them.
Every time we hit pause on our mundane everyday lives and did something a little out of the ordinary, we remembered it the most vividly.
The memories we loved the most were made during our road trip to Asheville. Or the first time we took our mini goldendoodle puppy camping.
We remembered the hike in late summer on a camping trip more than we remembered anything else.
We still talk about how many amazing conversations we had, and how many books we read while we were in Arizona.
I think traveling, getting outside of our routines, our schedules, and hitting pause is a lot like sabbath. That's why I love it so much.
For this year, we made a travel goal to travel once a month. We also want to camp at least once every season (except winter). Even in the strange state of the world that we’re in right now, there are opportunities and ways to escape routine and have those recalibrating moments on a trip whether you’re a backpacking fanatic or a first class kind of person.
It's not just about seeing the world, or traveling because it's fun (even though it is) but to us, it's in those moments where we take a "real rest"(Matthew 11:28-30) from our schedules that we invite God to renew our minds and rejuvenate our spirits.
We can't have sabbath forever and always be on vacation, but we weren't meant to always work either.
Personally, I work six days a week every week. Even if I'm not "going to work" I spend those six days working. Maybe it's working on my blog, maybe it's working on revisions for my book, or maybe it's giving the house a thorough clean on Saturday morning before running errands.
By Sunday, our sabbath day, I'm so ready to rest and so grateful to serve a God who commands us to take a full day of rest. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Our travel goal for 2021 is in part about taking advantage of our flexible jobs and ability to get away. But it's also about giving God time to restore our spirits and shift our focus to Him.
It allows us to have space to have deeper conversations, and to step away from the daily burdens we are focused on carrying.
I think there is something important about spaces. In the Bible God often comes to fill a space, and cares about occupying spaces and establishing spaces. (Ezekiel 43:4-5)
When we travel, we leave our everyday spaces.
It doesn't have to be extravagant, even just getting outside to go for a hike can free us from the distractions we might find in when we have new emails coming in on our phone or dishes piling up in the sink.
Instead, we are invited to pay attention to God and to what He is doing in our spirits and in the world around us.
In a new space, we can dedicate both that space and the time to God. We can allow Him to speak and give Him our full attention while we focus on finding rest in Him.
Often, it takes a sacrifice to travel or to get outside of our routines.
But I think we can honor God when we make room for Him, and thoughtfully plan out how to work moments of sabbath into our schedules whether it's a walk after lunch at work or a weekend trip away.
It blesses Him, and it blesses us.