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A time for vacation?

October 29, 2009

If your family is like mine, each year we always have the best intentions of taking a vacation.  Nothing extravagant or overtly expensive.  We just always think that sometime during that 365 days we will have 3 or 4 days to get away and relax together.  After nearly 15 years of marriage and still no honeymoon, you would think I would be all the wiser and realize that taking vacations is not my family’s strong point!  But alas, each year we discuss multiple times where we should load up and travel to and do we have the proper funding and can we take off enough time from work, etc.  Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and before you know it, it’s January again at the start of a new year and we always reflect thinking, “We really need to take a family vacation this year!”

Now this line of thinking could take this post down multiple paths exposing my weak points, but the one I want to focus on is guilt.  Guilt.  I have guilt regarding getting away from responsibilities to “vacation”.  Relaxing is difficult for me.  I long for it, but when I indulge, I later feel guilty because I look around and see all the things I could’a, should’a, would’a beeen doing instead of lounging.

The following verse from Ecclesiastes has given me some peace and I’m prayerfully working toward releasing this guilt because I do not think it is from God.  We all know the verse well from the ever popular song, but just to jog your memory…

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”

– Ecclesiastes 3:1

Isn’t it interesting that the Bible does not state “every working and productive activity under heaven”?  I believe wholeheartedly that human beings need their rest.  Our bodies were designed to sleep daily.  We can get very ill without rest.  Working every hour of the day is physically impossible and not how the Creator designed us.  Easier said than done sometimes, isn’t it?vacation

These points bring me back to the original reason for writing this post:  vacation.  Our children are growing up quickly.  When we are with them every day we don’t see it as much, but regardless of whether or not we take note, it is happening.  I think it might be better to view vacations as family bonding time; a way to strengthen the family ties and build fond memories that don’t revolve around work.  And who says we’re really resting on vacation anyway?  I’ve often heard the expression “vacation to recover from my vacation”.  This could be a result of too much sight-seeing or fighting the waves of the ocean, but what about all the work that goes into getting ready for and returning from a brief getaway?

  • packing/unpacking
  • laundry
  • pet/house arrangements
  • planning time off from responsibilities/job/school
  • travel
  • scheduling the trip – airfare, hotel, campsite, reservations, vehicle maintenance, etc.

Even if you head only an hour away for 2 days, the packing can be overwhelming.  In this light, it is easier to see that we are not retreating from work as much as we are creating an environment for our family that will be conducive to growing closer to one another.  There is a time for everything – even vacations.

Photo courtesy of scimanal / Used with permission.
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