In our high tech world, we all know that any time your computer, smartphone or other modern marvel starts to experience issues, the first troubleshooting step is to power it down, wait a few seconds, then power it back up.
It is so simple, but overlooked to the point that an IT team made “Hello, IT -- Have you tried turning it off and on again” their official phone greeting, as a running joke in a sitcom.
The value of a reboot is true, but it is not new. God was the one who came up with the idea, not only when he designed us for the gift of sleep every night (yay for sleep said all the parents!) but also when he modeled working for six days, then resting the seventh.
Sabbath is so simple, but also overlooked – probably much more than computer troubleshooting is! I think I grew up with some bias against it because of the way it came to be practiced as a rigid and ascetic experience. I read Little House on the Prairie, and the part about how when Laura's grandpa was a kid, Sundays involved sitting quietly and motionless on a bench all day long. He and his brothers snuck out to test a new sled but ran into a pig on the way down the hill. The pig squealed, blew their cover, and they got a beating for breaking Sabbath.
However, I have been reading a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, which among other things reminds me that the Sabbath was made FOR us, both to help us reboot, and to enjoy time being with God. Instead of suffering in silence, Sabbath is framed to have four elements: Stopping, Resting, Delighting, and Contemplating. I can definitely see the value in all of these, and am looking to incorporate them more and more into the rhythms of life.
It also occurred to me that those 4 elements are things we intentionally incorporate into the events we plan at Sandy Cove. For example, if you come to Family Camp, you will STOP going to work, mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, and running kids and errands everywhere. You will REST by going to bed at a decent time instead of staying up to watch TV, catching a nap here and there, and sitting in a chair overlooking the water. You will DELIGHT in having fun together, sunsets and ice cream, and you will have a chance to CONTEMPLATE during the “white space” we build into the schedule (and perhaps while sitting in a chair overlooking the sunset over the water with ice cream in your hand).
I'm not going to suggest that a vacation at Family Camp is a direct replacement for regular Sabbath – but if you are experiencing “issues,” if your family needs some “troubleshooting,” I am just going to ask “Have you tried unplugging, and plugging back in again?” It may be time for a reboot.