A rest, at least that is what they call vacations. You went away for a rest, people say. We anticipate the break from the routine. We can hardly wait to go. We plan, save, and plan some more. We pack and dream and are so excited that it is hard to contain oneself.
Then you go and you have to go here and go there and everywhere. You have pictures to take and events to attend. And the first thing that you notice is that the vacation is not exactly going as planned. It is not bad, mind you, just not as you imagined it would be. You love being out of the routine, spending days doing things that you want to do, without the need to ask for permission or feeling guilty because you are not doing something else. Then it happens, that moment when you are on vacation and you start to get excited about going home. It starts small and starts to build. Oh you have enjoyed the time away but you are really looking forward to getting back in the routine. You miss your friends and family and even the workplace.
What does all of this mean? Leisure helps relieve the stress of the routine of life. Leisure helps to relax and rejuvenate. It reminds us that there is a whole other side to things. Yet at this stage of our lives, work and relationships and deadlines and daily schedules give our lives meaning and should I say purpose. We were created to do and be and to create and organize and to move and interact.
My recent time away was needed and enjoyed. While anticipating it, we think of how splendid it would be to lead a life of leisure. But after spending a week in leisure I longed desperately for the routine and schedule of work. Quite possibly it is not the work, rather the sense of purpose and place. The idea that I am making a difference by showing up and being a part of the team. Not much of a team is required to take afternoon naps and to enjoy the scenery. I am glad that at this stage of my life I do not have to choose. I can work and I can take vacations and together they create the rhythm of life. Both necessary and both enjoyable. I know many do not enjoy their jobs and are counting the days to when they will be released from the prison of work. Fortunately, I have enjoyed my calling, certainly not every day has been enjoyable and there have been seasons that were dark and foreboding, but on balance it has been a pleasure. It takes a vacation to remind me once again that given a choice I would choose again to do what I do. Today I am thanking God for rest and time away, but I am mostly thanking Him for a place of service, where with His help I desire to make a difference. The most important thing one learns on a vacation is the basic truth that life is lived daily and whether we are aware of it or not, we must live in the moment and not wait for some perfectly defined magical future where everything will be perfect and then we can enjoy life. Why not enjoy today and serve the Lord and others gladly? Make a difference today! In some small way someone needs you to be present today! Now go on, make a difference.