I am so spoiled. My husband took me on a wonderful three day vacation to the Bahamas. It was a tropical paradise. The days were filled with sleeping, eating, and reading, in that order! The purpose of the trip was to wind down and that goal was definitely accomplished. I felt like a huge wet noodle! On the plane ride back, it hit me that God wants me to feel that way all the time: rested, peaceful, at ease. Vacation is a state of the spirit and mind, the location just helps me get to that point. Here are a few truths I use to keep everyday a vacation at my house:
1. Retreat. Proverbs 4:26, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” Take a minute to step back, or retreat, from your life. Then get your priorities and schedule in order. It tends to be unvactiony to drive around frazzled while throwing pretzels and box juices in the back seat to your kids on the way to Sunday School. Plan your day. The calendar and clock should be your friends, not foes. Plan so that you enjoy life, smile at the sun, and stop to smell the calla lilies.
2. Relax. Psalm 107:29, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” There needs to be a section of time each day when you are awake, quiet, and still. Everyone relaxes differently. It could be stretching, music, a bath, reading, sunshine, a cup of tea, or reclining in a chair. When you physically relax, you can then mentally relax, and it will surprise you how spiritually relaxed and peaceful you can become. Like laying in a hammock and listening to the click of the palm leaves in the breeze.
3. Reflect. Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” When you reflect, or meditate, on the things of God, you will instantly be transported on vacation. Think about His goodness, His blessings, His care, and His love. So often our minds clamor about in a tangle of thoughts and issues. Reflecting on Jesus gives your spirit the calmness like hot sand between your toes.
4. Renew. Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” When you choose to retreat, relax, and reflect, God will do His part and give you a new spirit. A so-called ‘vacation spirit’. A spirit that is free from worry or fear. The same renewing you feel after a Surf & Turf meal, moonlit walk on the beach, and a glass of coconut milk before retiring for a 12 hour sleep.
The next time you are screaming on the inside, “I need a vacation”, just stop. Retreat, relax, reflect, and then sit back with your iced tea and wait for the renewing of your spirit.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Bahamas. But I didn’t dread coming home, I brought the vacation with me.