Earl and I went on a glorious vacation for almost three weeks in June 2013. We had a wonderful time just being together and seeing 12 of our country’s national parks.
As many pastor families know, taking a vacation is extremely important and necessary. But usually a pastor’s vacation still consists of phone calls, emails, and texts to and from members of his or her church. There can even be some stress from not knowing how their flock is doing. How are those doing who are sick, hospitalized, jobless or depressed? Will they need spiritual help from the pastor while he or she is off taking a long, 2 week vacation?
In Genesis 2:2, we are very familiar with the creation account that after creating for six days, God rested on the seventh. But of course this isn’t to suggest that God was tired or needed to rest. In fact, God never rests. John 5:17 represents the Father as continually working to preserve and to redeem the created world through His Son. The text in Genesis simply means that God ceased from His creating and dedicated the seventh day as a sacred day for all of us to worship Him, honor Him, and to rest ourselves.
So while we took 2 weeks to rest out of 52, and vacationed across this glorious country of ours, putting 7,000 miles on the car, entering 17 states (some a couple times) and spending 19 days away from home, we brought God on vacation with us. Each day we praised God for this absolutely stunning and geographically diverse land that we call our country. We are very blessed to call this beautiful land our home, and we intend to take the time to eventually explore all our national parks.
So each day, Earl and I praised and worshiped God by reading scripture and contemplating what it was that God was saying to us through the scriptures. We each have adopted a reading plan to read our Bibles every year. Then when I took my Bible out while he was driving and told him that I was going to read my daily reading, Earl asked me to read that he wouldn’t miss his daily reading. Each day we talked about the scriptures that I had read, and Earl even had me write down some ideas that he felt God had given him to preach. It’s amazing how God can take a few minutes during your vacation and inspire you. With His beauty all around us, and His Word permeating our ears, we felt the presence of God with us on vacation. God doesn’t need a vacation and never takes one. We do need a vacation, but never away from God. God is always at work - focusing all His efforts on the preservation and redemption of His world. And He uses each of us where we are, whether at home, at work or even while on vacation, to accomplish His will.
Never take a vacation from God while you are on vacation!