Ashley and I got back from Utah last week. It was a unique vacation for several reasons. First of all, Ashley is 7 and a half months pregnant. That makes it, well, different. Secondly, we stayed in a condo in Brian Head, a ski resort at about 10,000 feet elevation, which means that we would regularly see snow and desert in the same outings. Thirdly, since it’s a ski resort and it’s June, the resort was largely empty. Most of the time there was only one other car in the parking garage.
I think families need to take vacations. This was my upbringing– my dad always made it a priority to take go on a vacation or two every summer. It has been ingrained in me to value vacation. I love going on vacation. There’s nothing as exciting as experiencing new parts of the world. But I think there is more to vacation that just fun. I think they are healthy.
Vacations help me spend focused time on my family.
Shared memories and experiences bond a family together. Anyone who had a vacation-taking family knows this. We all laugh remembering dad’s traveling hat, the games we used to play in the back seat on long drives, or seeing that giant slab of ice fall off the glacier. The fond memories help build a relational foundation that lasts forever.
A great fear of mine is being the pastor whose kids hate the church and rebel because it stole their dad. Family vacations are one way I hope to keep that from happening.
There is nothing so important going on in the church that will steal me away from my family vacations.
Vacations help me spend extended time with God, with books, and with my thoughts.
I’m different than a lot of people. To me, a day of perfection relaxation is my nose in a book and my pen on a paper. Or simply sitting outside. I need to read and write. If I don’t, I dry up. Vacation helps me take the time to unwind and refuel.
Vacations help me remember that life goes on without me, and that I am ultimately disposable.
Once I start forgetting this I rely too much on my own abilities to do God’s work. And that is when I am deemed unusable. No man is irreplaceable; God needs no man to carry out his plan. Vacations make me step away and watch God keep the world spinning.
Vacations give me a deeper appreciation for the beauty in creation.
You know the feeling that you get standing on the edge of a thousand foot cliff. I think it’s a similar (though infinitely smaller) experience to standing before God. Fear, awe, beauty, and breathlessness at the same time. Seeing God’s huge and glorious creation reminds me of the huge and glorious God I serve.