As our family prepares to enjoy a few days of vacation I have been reflecting on the what I hope to accomplish during the break. You may be thinking, “Accomplish? Isn’t the point that we don’t accomplish anything?” Not exactly – vacations should have a goal, how else will we evaluate whether they have accomplished their purpose or not? As I look back over the years I am convinced that the best vacations are those which serve to motivate and propel us into greater service for our Lord. Think about it, on vacation we do the things that would be considered lazy, sluggish to the point of sin any other week out of the year. We lay around, eat, play – that’s about it. But remember, even our Lord called his disciples to “come apart and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). So these seasons, from our Lord’s perspective – are necessary.
Vance Havner said of this command of Jesus, “f we don’t ‘come apart’ we will certainly come apart”.
So the idea is that if we set aside a few days for rest, relaxation and reflection – we will ultimately be more productive than if we did not. So consider this truth as you plan your vacation. The goal is to return at full capacity, focused, motivated and ready to tackle the 51 other weeks with renewed passion.
Here are a few ideas to consider as you plan a summer getaway:
- Plan to complete a book – Typically, I will draw from my vacation read throughout the year or even years to come.
- Plan to sleep late – Most highly engaged Christians find it necessary to rise early. For this reason we are often operating at a deficit. Make up for it during your time away.
- Distance yourself from email, cell phone, etc. I believe the enemy hates the fact that you will be recharged and motivated as a result of a vacation, so he will do anything he can to get your mind engaged in work and stress from home.
- Consider looking ahead to see if there is a gym in the area where you can get a week long membership. Good physical exercise can release endorphins that serve to stimulate your mentally and physically.
- Make the trip there and back enjoyable – often hours in the car with kids can add to our stress significantly. Plan some games, movies, music that will keep everyone occupied or having and enjoyable conversation.
- Pack well – plan to dress comfortably for every part of your trip.
- Enjoy times of prayer at your destination – Have you ever considered that some of the greatest moments in scripture happened on a beach or in the mountains. I think there is something about those atmospheres that can expand our soul to consider the greatness and nearness of God. Don’t miss these opportunities for time with the Lord. Do not vacation from God, vacation for God.