One year Tom and Janice bought their dream house. It was a big step financially but they had been planning for some time and were overjoyed when they finally moved in. A week later their car died and they needed to buy a new one. When the summer holidays rolled around someone asked them if they were going to take a trip somewhere. “No,” said Tom, “we can’t afford to. So we just plan to sit in the house and look out at our new car. And then when we get tired of that we plan to go and sit in the car and look at our new house.”
Whether or not you get away on holidays in the next couple of months I hope that you can slow down and enjoy the summer season. Here are three things I try to fit in during my holiday time.
1. Rest. Taking rest means ceasing from work. It’s important that we put projects and deadlines behind us for a while. It’s sobering to think that if you suddenly died your work place would continue on without you. We like to think that our work is indispensable but truthfully we can rest without everything falling apart. So ignore the emails and take some time for yourself.
2. Relationships. Holidays are a great time to reconnect with the people we love. Take time for your spouse and children. Spend an evening with old friends. Play silly games with the kids. Surveys tell us that camping trips are among the most stressful things a family can do but they also make for the best family memories. Make some good memories this summer.
3. Reflection. We need to pause and think about the season we have just come through. You might be filled with gratitude for the way God has blessed. Or you might find yourself experiencing disappointment or sadness with events that have taken place. Talk with God about how you are feeling. Just as important is thinking about the next season that lies ahead. You can mentally and spiritually prepare yourself through thoughtful reflection and prayer.
After a particularly busy day of work and ministry Jesus said to his disciples, “‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:31-32)
I pray that during these next couple of months you’ll find a solitary place and time alone with Jesus.