It's been ten weeks since I began my social media detox. That's meant no blogging, photos or pithy quotes for over 80 days. I know because I get sulky updates from Facebook every few days reminding me of my neglectful ways. Instead, I've read a lot, underlined my Bible plenty and filled a couple of journals with prayers and musings. It's been delightful to be able to withdraw and reflect without feeling any pressure to produce. That's been the theme of our sabbatical. We are profoundly thankful to God for the generosity of our team and church who have sacrificed much to give us space to be without having to do.
The word sabbatical comes from the Hebrew word shabbat, which means to stop, to rest and to celebrate. It's where we get the Biblical idea of sabbath, which first occurred when God rested from his work on the 7th day of creation and reflected on all He had made declaring, "It is good." God stopped and rejoiced in His work, and calls us as his image bearers to do the same for our own good. A sabbatical then, is really an extended sabbath intended for rest, joyful reflection on a past season of work, and restoration for the next season of work. So how has that been then?Sabbatical Re-centering
It's been a gift to be able to do a fair amount of travel, taking our kids to visit One Light Church in Thailand, vacation in South East Asia, drop our oldest son, Asher at college in Chicago and vacation in Santa Barbara. We've made some amazing family memories in some beautiful places and now have my parents with us for seven weeks, all of which we treasure with gratitude. Speaking of travel though, when you're driving in foreign cities, google maps becomes a vital travel companion. Truth be told, in an otherwise peaceful sabbatical our most unpeaceful moments have been trying to navigate with google maps! That said, there's this button on google maps called re-center that is extremely helpful. It's when your car icon has moved off the screen so you're looking at a map and following a voice command but you can't actually see where you are on the map. When you press re-center you suddenly see yourself in right perspective with your surroundings. That's what Sabbatical has felt like for Rynelle and I; a blessed re-centering of our souls that has produced clarity and peace on the journey marked out for us.