Last summer marked the beginning of a new pace in life, well, at least an attempt for a new pace in life. I’ve struggled to understand sabbath in my life for over a decade. I think I’m just now scratching the surface of its purpose. And so it was, that last summer we were able to take 2 months off from life, rent an RV, and cram Amy and I and our 4 kiddos into a small space and drive. Crazy? Yes! Necessary? Absolutely!
We traveled around the country chasing good weather, family, and friends who were intentionally living out the mission of God in diverse contexts. This was a trip of a lifetime for us, a trip where I began my search for la Querencia wherever it is God has me.
It was last summer when I first read a copy of a book called Slow Church, and there is a chapter where Smith and Pattison talk 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, after another season of being able to serve at a Young Life camp and another 2 months off of routine life in Phoenix, that sabbath rest is really resting in who Jesus says I am… He was meant to be our querencia. He’s the one who truly gives rest that strengthens my character.
In a world full of busyness that drives us to live at a pace that is not based on a biblical worldview; and a culture that “forces” us to eat whatever is placed before us (or is cheapest and easiest to buy); 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 seemingly “unproductive” days of rest.
Time. It is time once again this summer that has reminded me that God is not in a hurry and rest is a way of trusting Him in the midst of a world that feels like there’s not enough time in the day. Time reminds me that we are living in eternity now before God. Time reminds me that God shows up in the now; he dispenses grace, mercy, forgiveness, reveals beauty, and matures us in the “now”. Time allows us to enjoy moments and to have fun, but it was not meant for us to base our lives on or to drive into a pace of life that drowns out real life.
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 second summer trip is the result of a commitment to live differently. The difference… hopefully it’s a new kind of sabbath, a sabbath that leads me to places of Querencia that I believe God wants me to inhabit with him daily. A Querencia that was always meant to charge up God’s people to live holistically productive lives which means a healthier pace, more responsible eating, divine rest, more fun, deep healing, and a holy patience with work, people, and life in general.
So for today, I’m finding my Querencia with my daughter Mia at Magic Mountain screaming our heads off, feelings sick, and eating churros!