The Spirit of Vacation


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Summer is approaching which means that many people are gearing up to go on vacation. My wife and I are leaving in a couple of days for our own getaway.

When you think of vacation, what comes to your mind?

White sandy beaches? Beautiful snow capped mountaintops? A week spent doing work that has piled up around the house? Clark Griswold and his family carrying their dead Aunt Edna on the roof of their Family Truckster?

The true “spirit” of a vacation is found in the idea of “vacating” your current situation with the intent being to rest, recreate, and rejuvenate before returning to reality. When the elements of rest, recreation, and rejuvenation are not present, then we never contacted the true “spirit” of vacation.

At some point, everyone needs a break from their day to day activities or the stress seems to build until you are a “crispy critter”. For many of us, the problem lies in the fact that the stress never ends and the vacations are too short! 

If we could just find a way to stay on vacation. Then, we could get free from the stress of life.

Well, no one gets to stay on constant vacation (at least no one who runs in my circles!). God has called us to work in His harvest field not live a secluded “monastic” life on a cruise ship. The spirit of vacation may not last long after the vacation but the Spirit of the Living God never leaves His children!

God has given us some clues as to how to work in His field and experience the “spirit” of rest, recreation, and rejuvenation while we work. You can find a few of these clues in the following Psalm.

Psalm 37:3-8: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret–it only causes harm.”

In this passage, I see a few clues as to how to live in the “spirit” of vacation all year long! I’ll use one word from each section of scripture to reveal these clues.

TRUST

Where you find trust, you find peace. Nothing drains our energy, both emotionally and physically more than lack of trust. Where trust is lacking, you find a mind that never rests. But, those who trust in the Lord feast continually on His faithfulness. They are not afraid and do not expend emotional energy on needless worry. God has proven His motives to us at the cross. God has proven His ability at the empty tomb. God has made a commitment to us in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Let your mind rest! Feast on the promises of His Word! He will not – He cannot fail! Midnight buffets last for a moment, but His faithfulness lasts a lifetime!

DELIGHT

The Bible says in Proverbs 15:15: All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. We need to be careful as to what we take delight in. So many things are fleeting in this life. Building a life upon something that cannot endure leads to much worry and stress. Many things that we try to pull our strength from don’t have the inherent power to keep us energized. They simply weren’t built to supply us with happiness. To get off the “roller coaster” of life, find something to plug into that is unchanging in nature. If we delight in the Lord, then He will give us the desires of our heart…the true desires of our heart will be met. Desires for love, purpose, stability, wholeness – all these are part of the continual feast of the merry heart! 

COMMIT

Discouraged people “commit” all kinds of things: murder, suicide, adultery, etc. But, if we commit our needs to the Lord, the Bible says, that “He shall bring IT to pass.” Is “IT” bothering you really bad? All of us have “ITs” that steal our joy and peace.So, whatever “IT” is in your life, commit “IT” to Jesus! Commit “IT” to the “institution” of Lordship and believe God! Receive the peace and hope of a settled spirit!

REST

So many of us are not patient. When we lose our patience, we lose our peace and stability. We spend too much time looking around instead of looking up. We look at “this one” and “that one” and compare ourselves to others and soon, find ourselves living in constant unrest and  unhappiness.

If you are going to be at rest in your soul, you are going to have to master the art of learning to wait on God. His timing is always perfect. Stop trying to figure out how and when and learn to obey and rest!  How many problems has worry solved in your life? Climb into the “lounge chair” of patience and learn to rest in God! God knows what He is doing!!

CEASE

Everyone gets angry at times. But, consistent anger is a sign of fear and a lack of stability. Fear and anxiety are two “sisters” of the same family. You very seldom find one and not find the the other! Anger is a way in which many of us experience fear. Anger seldom stands on its own feet – it usually has something living below it that is “propping” it up. Fear and anxiety have been known to prop up anger! The Bible says that anxiety only causes harm. To begin a new process, you must stop or cease the old one. So, if you don’t like what your ship is serving, don’t take a trip on that ship anymore! Get off of the USS Anger and get on the the USS Tranquility! Jesus is at the helm, so you don’t have to be angry, anxious, or fearful!

TRUST….DELIGHT….COMMIT….REST….CEASE….

Sounds like a commercial for a vacation spot, doesn’t it!

“Trust your life to the Lord! Delight in His ways!! Commit yourself to His care! Rest in His faithfulness! Cease your fruitless efforts!!”

In this invitation, you find the “spirit” of vacation!!

When I return from my getaway, this invitation will be what sustains me!! Join me on the “trip” of a lifetime! No matter where life takes us, we will constantly be at peace!!!

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