Our sabbath rhythm as a family is to rest a day a week, 2 days a month, 1 week each spring, and three weeks each year. We've had people tell us over the years that it seems really rigid. They're right. It's extremely rigid....i.e. non negotiable. We've cultivated this spiritual practice for nearly 16 years and in the midst of ministry life it continues to be life giving. People over the years have also said that 3 weeks sounds like too much time and they could never do it. I think everyone should take more vacation than they think they need....but lazy, yes it's VERY lazy -- we camp, we climb, and we hike....very restful sabbath practises for the White family. The difference between people who experience sabbath rest and everybody else, is that the people who know how to rest are experts at saying no. Sabbath is an act of saying no to our own drivenness, desire to succeed, need to produce, and addiction to the feeling that busyness give us.
During the final days of our spring break trip to Joshua Tree, we spent our time rock climbing, hiking, eating, and watching sunrises and sunsets. Sabbath stuff.
Our campsite was at a place called Indian Cove. It was truly an amazing place. The campsites are tucked into the rock formations that offer endless opportunities to scramble, boulder, and climb with ropes.
In the evenings we'd tell stories, eat smores, laugh and lounge.
During the day, Indian Cove is a place with endless climbing opportunities!
One of the last hikes we did as a family was called the Boy Scout Trail. It is a beautiful 8 mile point-to-point trail. It features amazing wild flowers and only ascends 1700ft. It's a great way to get the true Joshua Tree experience. We highly recommend it!
After our hike we found some boulders to climb and a cave to enjoy out of the sun.
At the end of the day we enjoyed PIZZA. Pizza is the perfect post-hike food, I think!
In the evening we found an amazing place to watch our final sunset in Joshua Tree National Park. Every sunset is a reminder that it's OK to hit the reset button. You can leave yesterdays worries in the past and look ahead to tomorrow -- a new opportunity to trust God.
Every time we focus on sabbath, we are teaching our kids that a successful life is not defined by how much you accomplish for God, but by becoming more aware of how much God does for us.
The wise old man who wrote Ecclesiastes, now reflecting on his storied life said at the end of his book, "After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God,...because this is all that we were created for."
Sabbath grows reverence for God.
These are good days