Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion July 11, 2018


Vacations are quite the conundrum. Vacations are necessary. Vacations are fun. But there are things about vacations that make you want to say, “Hmmm” (Wasn’t that a song a while back?)
I guess what spurred this on was last week when I went on vacation.
Took 4 days to pack cause we were going camping and camping requires you to take things that you wouldn't necessarily have to take if you were staying in a hotel - so lists were made, store trips were done, packing and packing and then trying to remember what you packed and remember you were going to WV where the days are hot but the nights are cold so 2 or 3 outfits each day is the norm....
The sainted husband was a volunteer for a PGA tournament and while he was sweating on the golf course in the searing heat watching grown men hit and then look for little white balls (Can’t quite understand this game where you spend as much time looking for something as you do playing the game) I remained at the camp site cause walking 2 miles in the heat to get where you needed to go after a bus ride didn't seem very vacationey....
Anyway, while he was doing what he did at the golf tournament, I was camping in the nearby state forest. (Well, I guess he was camping too it was just that he isn’t there much…..) What I experienced as I leisurely rose from a night of slumber on the first day, was this disorientation of ‘What do I do?”
Now when you spend most days getting up early and going for a walk, then coming home, eating breakfast, doing some chores around the house, going to work, coming home and fixing the sainted husband lunch, doing a couple more house things, going back to work, coming home and fixing the sainted husband dinner, cleaning the kitchen, going to a meeting or yard work or whatever the evening activity was, coming home, finishing up some work, watching some TV and going to bed so that you can wake up the next morning and doing it all again…..
Waking up in vacation land and not having to follow that routine is quite disconcerting….. There is just an uneasiness that you need to be doing something - which is why I purposely do not take work with me because if I did that would be my solution to this uneasiness, I’ll just do some work which then negates the idea of vacation since you are not really resting from what you do on a regular basis you are just changing locations for what you do on a regular basis…
So I had no work with me, there were no messages on my phone requiring me to ‘work’, and there I sat after my second cup of coffee and my breakfast and I wondered what was next. What do I do when there is literally nothing that has to be done? What an eerie feeling?
Now I had made all kinds of plans about what I was going to do on vacation. Rest, sit and not do anything while staring off into the woods, read a book, crochet, take a nap….. And all of that sounded really good and relaxing and proper vacation fare. But for the first couple days of this vacation the urge to ‘work’ was hard to shake and it made true relaxing pretty problematic.
But after time you get over what ever that "I need to work" feeling is and the relaxing nature kicked in and all was well and you are vacationing as you should!
Then you come home. And you kick into high gear as you have to unload all the paraphernalia you took with you and unpack it and put it away and do the laundry that you went through while vacationing all the while trying to catch up on all the work that has accumulated while you were gone and quickly the vacation is but a distant faded memory - a fond memory but it quickly almost seems as if it never happened. Back once again to the getting up early in the morning, taking a walk, eating breakfast, doing house chores, going to work…… And most people say, "I need a vacation from my vacation..."
But as I look back on it, the vacation did revive a bit of energy and go-gettedness that had begun to fade, so even though there were hiccups, it was a good thing.
God wants us to rest. Sometimes we think ‘rest’ is a four letter word something never to say much less do. Don’t want anyone to think we are lazy. Have to be productive. Gotta keep going/working/doing cause that is what we are suppose to do. Right?
Wrong. God says rest. Take some time. Recharge. Yea it is hard for us at first because of our rush/rush life style and our keep going mentality, but God says do it anyway.
And God knows best. God rested; Jesus rested; and we are to rest as well. It is a gift. You have permission from the highest authority and after all God is the only one we really have to listen to.
Rest. Take a day off. Go on vacation - or staycation is the latest thing - whatever you label it - Rest!
God will help you wind down and then reward you with a renewed sense of your presence with him!



These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God! Feel free to share them if you wish.