Mackinac In March

Mac Isl

Mackinac Island’s Harbor in March – Photo by Chelsea Shrack 

“You know everything is closed, right?” Was the chorus we heard over and over again. A week and a half ago my friend from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary sent me a text. She said, knowing that moving back to Kansas was her destination after graduation, that she wanted to find the time to visit Mackinac Island and Lake Superior while she was still in Chicago.

In March!

We decided it would be an adventure, but worth a try. We did some research, made some calls, and packed our bags.

Mackinac island is known for being a place where no cars are allowed. People come to the island to ride bikes, admire sail boats, buy sweet fudge, indulge at the Grand Hotel, and explore the trails.  The island is alive all summer, but come winter the island goes practically dormant.

Only five things were open on Mackinac Island in March: A B&B, a small hotel, a bar, a restaurant, and a market.

Our ferry ride had about 15 people. Five locals returning home after warm vacations and ten brave tourists. When Chelsea and I realized that we were the only guests at the B&B it was easy to realize that those 10 other people must all be at the hotel (later we would all converge at the restaurant for dinner).

Chelsea and I stuck some foot warmers in the tows of our Merrills and set off for a day of hiking the trails. We navigated ice patches, trudged through deep snow, and admired beautiful views of Lake Huron. We never encountered one other person on our journey.  We rested our minds, worked our muscles, and admired God’s beautiful creation.

What would life look like if we took more time to live in the off-season? To slow down, to explore, and to admire the world around us?

In times gone by it was common for a whole town to close down on Sunday. Every week had one day of “off-season”. You made do with what you had and enjoyed the people and sites around you. Today it is much harder to force ourselves into days of rest.

Sometimes we have to do something a little crazy like going to Mackinac in March.

Finish Something

This past week, I joined twelve other campus ministers in Santa Barbara for a Retreat. One of the “assignments” of the retreat was to finish something. The director asked us to pick a project and finish something. It didn’t have to be perfect – just done. Some people were intimidated by this assignment because they could not decide what to do  and had no guidelines about what would make it a success. Some grasped the opportunities by the horns. One women said – I’ve never painted but maybe this is the time to start.

When was the last time you finished something? Not a work project, but just something for you. Although traditionally Sabbath Practice in the bible was about refraining from work, I believe in renewing our Sabbath Practice in 2017 we might consider grabbing our creativity by the horns and finishing something that brings us joy. Maybe the final product isn’t perfect, but the journey made us grow closer with God.


Re:Create Retreat

And then God rested…

God created, God called creation good, and then God rested.

You too are called to rest.

ReCreate:Retreats explore how God calls us to rest. In our times of rest we are allowed to recharge and refocus our lives on God, on community, and on who God calls us to be.

In rest we are renewed to create again.