“When can we go to Disney World, Mom? Everyone in my class is going and we never get to go anywhere.” Could a trip to Disney bring my family sabbath joy? It’s possible. But it’s just as possible that these trips mostly provide escapist vacating from life instead of the recreation and rest we truly need. The kids want magic. And the good news is that we don’t have to take a trip to an expensive theme park to get it.
My family spends time in the summer at Twin Bridges Park in Wisconsin, where fishing with uncles and boating with cousins combine to make their own spells of childhood happiness. It is where our over-programmed lives pause and the only schedule that matters is who’s on deck for tubing.
In addition to the Disney dreaming, my daughter offered this out of the blue: “Do you know what I love most about Twin Bridges? I love being in the boat and then jumping off and swimming in the water.” Her memory evoked the magic of camping and the joy of spending hours in the clear and cool waters under North Woods trees.
So I will camp at Twin Bridges every summer we have the chance, because I know that the kids need magic, and that one day, Spirit willing, they’ll call it sabbath joy.
Today we remember Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany; and Olaf, King of Norway, martyr (1030). This message was adapted from “Family Vacations” written by Elyse Nelson Winger that first appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.