Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What makes a vacation for you?

We had the pleasure this past week of getting away from the regular routine. A single missionary friend had won a ticket to Ouagadougou and wanted to use it but didn't want to go alone so our family agreed to drive over ahead of her and meet her there. (She had become surrogate family when she lived with us during the flood last year). It was good to have an excuse to use some of our vacation time and to get away.

But it has lead me to think about what makes a vacation. When you live overseas for any length of time what constitutes a vacation becomes something different (at least if you are living on a budget). For my friend it is having ice cream everyday (preferably in the form of a sundae with whip cream and chocolate sauce). For me it is the little things, the opportunity to visit different stores and discover that they actually carry some of the treats from home that you missed (I know it sounds crazy that grocery shopping can make a holiday) or to be able to wear pants or shorts without offending someone or to be able to enjoy different restaurants. Just being away so that there is no one to make those extra demands on your time, so that you can actually read that good book that you have been wanting to.  For some of you getting a tan on the beach is all you need and I confess that being able to hear the waves on the shore is one of the most refreshing treats I can think of especially because I live on the edge of the desert (you know endless beach but not a whole lot of water!). Whatever constitutes a holiday for you doesn't really matter what matters is that you remember to take one. When God created us he built rest into the schedule. We weren't made to work non-stop and collapse into exhausted guilt ridden sleep at night but God made us to work and to rest. When we take the time to get away and rejuvenate we are better able to do the work that God has given us. When we fill every waking hour with activity and we listen to the doubts about whether we can afford the time or the money or whatever to get away, we aren't doing ourselves (or God for that matter) any favours.

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