From toddlers to teens to travel-weary parents, the question is inevitable. "When are we going to stop?" Depending on the driver the answer differs dramatically.
Some commandeer the driver's seat like a general taking his troops to their target. There is only one objective and that is "to get there." Nothing will stop them. Woe be to the small child with an equally small bladder who asks the question.
Other drivers are more gracious. They know the destination to be reached lies ahead on the horizon. But they also appreciate the need for pit stops along the way. Blessed is the child whose parent has adopted this mode of journeying. She asks the question with utmost confidence.
Jesus was more like the gracious driver. He knew the value of stopping, of pulling aside for some moments of rest, reflection and renewal. It was a value instilled in his life from his ancestors.
In the Old Testament we find a variety of times the Israelites would stop. Much like historical markers are placed along our roads, stones were erected as monuments to their faith journey and placed at the point significant experiences occurred. In other instances festivals were used to pause and celebrate and remember important events in their history.
But perhaps the most important "stop" Jesus adopted was Sabbath: A weekly rest from work and worries. The Hebrew word for "Sabbath" means "stop." Were there road signs in the Israel of Jesus' day, the word "Sabbath" would be placed on a red one telling travelers to not move any further. It would mean to look around and observe where they were and when it was safe to travel on.
Sabbath was intended for something similar. It is a weekly "pit stop" along life's journey to reflect on where you are in view of where you are going.
Might you and your family use a pit stop right now? Like the "got to get there at all costs" driver, we move along from one point to the next without stopping and stretching or just taking a break. That kind of traveling takes its toll on all passengers.
That kind of life takes its toll on a family. Wise are the parents who plot their family's journey with vision, values, and a strategy that includes stops along the way. Stops to measure how they are doing and what mid-course corrections might be needed from time to time.
Who knows? You may be the one ready to ask the question: "When are we going to stop?"
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31 TNIV).