No roads or cars.
No bathrooms or outhouses.
No cell service.
Just water, a pack, a paddle, and a canoe.
I went off the grid for three days last week in the far recesses of Northern Minnesota, near the Canadian border. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is a swath of land that includes 1,100 lakes and no human civilization.
Here's why I went off the grid:
Deal With My Addiction: I was cut off from my addiction to the phone, radio, TV, computer. No distractions. No wasted time. No political ads.
Be In Awe: I saw the Northern Lights pulsating green and blue in the sky at 4:00AM. It was a spiritual experience. God. Is. Big.
Be Fully Present: There were few distractions and lots of silence. I was focused on the moment, not what's next. This gave me time for meaningful conversations with my dad, wife, and two oldest kids. We chatted about things we never would have talked about in civilization.
Gain Perspective: Life looks different when you step back. What you think is a big deal isn't so big from far away. The rawness of a rugged lake, a tandem of soaring eagles, and an unfiltered sky of stars tells you that you're pretty small. If God holds the stars and the eagle, he can hold you.
Boredom: In our hyper-scheduled civilization, I'm rarely bored. It's healthy to have periods of time designated for daydreaming, thinking, laughing, and spontaneous fun.
Rest: Because I was removed from most of the things that need my time, energy, and leadership, it allowed me to rest deeply.
We believe in "God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." Times of rest allow us to stop creating and simply be created. Stop working, producing, and accomplishing. Simply be a creature fashioned by the Maker. Resting is an act of faith, faith that God can handle your world even if you're not there.
See my previous post on rest.
I hope you had some time to step away this summer, or that you will soon.
You have permission to go off the grid. Just come back.