“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” Psalm 55:6-8
Summer vacations and getaways can be just the answer for those who are worn out, exhausted from work, overwhelmed and burnt-out, simply wanting to ‘fly away and be at rest’, as the Psalmist expressed. So many head out, taking advantage of our all-too short season of warmer weather, in search of rest and repose on a sunny beach, lake-view cottage, lush golf course, secluded cabin in the woods, a thrilling theme park, or an unhurried window-shopping stroll along a harbour promenade, and the like.
Recreational diversions and efforts to empty ourselves of anxiety and stress are good. We need to be careful, however, of what we then fill up with in order to feel recharged and invigorated when our vacation is over. Too many times we arrive back from holiday feeling more exhausted then when we started. I think that is because we are deceived into looking to activities and material things to provide for us what ultimately only God can give us when it comes to true rest and peace.
In other words, you can no more take a holiday from your spiritual life in Christ, than your physical heart can take a holiday from beating. No doubt your old nature will cry out in protest, claiming that spiritual disciplines such as corporate worship, personal bible time and prayer, are hard work and that you deserve a break from them too. To do so, however, would be counter-productive if what you’re looking for is real rest.
I do hope and pray that you are able to take a break from the monotony of the daily grind, strenuous shift work, business deadlines, and the never-ending to-do-lists. At the same time, as you empty yourself of all the stress, be sure to draw even closer to Jesus. Commune with him in the cool of the early morning, while laughing hysterically in praise to God for good fun as you are pulled behind the powerboat, and sitting around enjoying the glow of a campfire with family and friends at the end of the day.
“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” Proverbs 19:23
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Thanks for meandering along with me,