La Querencia of Sabbath

Our family of 6 just embarked on a two month trip in a 26′ RV and we are traveling around country chasing good weather, family, and friends who are intentionally living out the mission of God in diverse contexts. This is a trip of a lifetime for us, especially since I just graduated from grad school, have no job, and no home to live in until the end of July (thus the RV). Leading up to this trip, God has prompted many thoughts and topics in my heart and mind that won’t leave me alone, and I have found myself reflecting a lot about: patience, pace of life, food and how/what we eat, being present with my wife/kids/family/friends (in the moment), and sabbath (rest).

This morning I was reading a copy of a book called Slow Church (I will write a short book review about it in the next couple weeks) and there is a chapter talking about sabbath rest and they quote the American author Barry Lopez writing about the Spanish word querencia which is sometimes translated as the “haunt of wild hearts”:

“[He] describes la querencia as a place on the ground from which one draws strength of character.”

It is clear to me already on day two of our trip, that sabbath rest was meant to be our querencia. In a world full of busyness that drives us to live at a pace that is not based on a biblical worldview; and culture that “forces” us to eat whatever is placed before us (or is cheapest and easiest to get); and a society that has placed work and money at a level that turns people and places into commodities to be consumed… we are in desperate need of alternative lifestyles that display a different kind of pace, a different kind of patience, a different kind of work ethic… all of which are not possible if we are not a people who know how to rest and trust during the “unproductive” days of rest.

Time. Time reminds us that God is not in a hurry and rest is a way of trusting God in the midst of world that feels like there’s not enough time in the day. Time reminds us that we are living in eternity now before God. Time reminds us that God shows up in the now; he dispenses grace, mercy, forgiveness, reveals beauty, and matures us in the “now”. Learning to live in the present, pacing myself, eating slower and being more aware of what I am eating are all being sharpened and awakened as I slow down, rest and trust God in the seemingly “unproductive” now.

This trip is the beginning of a new kind of sabbath for me, a sabbath that leads me to places of querencia that I believe God wants his people to inhabit with him daily. A querencia that charges up God’s people to live holistically productive lives which means a healthier pace, more responsible eating, divine rest, and a holy patience with work, people, and life in general.

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