We're definitely winding down here, but I realize some of you are slogging your way through exams, grades, or packing lunches for the 175th time. ;) Others are thinking back to when "school year" mattered to you or looking ahead to when it may. Regardless of where you fall, we all sense a shift at the end of May in the US. Even if you're in another country, you know when everyone's mind turns to "holiday" season. VACATION!
By the time you get to vacation, you may be tempted to breathe a deep sigh of relief and let it take you away (ala Calgon), but we risk wasting our valuable vacation time, and vacation IS VALUABLE, so don't let it slip away without some thought. Read and share with me here the rest of this week and next week as we consider "the Value of Vacation" and think ahead to making the most of it. After all, Resting is Righteous. Let me say that again: Resting is Righteous.
Like anything else that's good from God's hand, Satan tries to get us to settle for a cheap substitute. Instead of real rest, he loves when we fritter away time to refresh by being lazy, not redeeming the time, drifting away from His purposes in our lives. Still not convinced it makes a difference whether we kick into "don't wake me 'til September" mode or not? Let God's truth speak for itself, as it unfolds this theme from the Old to New Testaments ....
Exodus 34:21 Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
Exodus 33:14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
Mark 6:31-32 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "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.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Who are we to think we don't need to rest ... or that "doing nothing" is God's best vision for resting well ... or that we can experience God's quality of rest without giving it some thought and maybe even some prayer? Call it "vacation" or "holiday" or "time off," but it's rest, and that's righteous! If God places high value on vacation, so should we. It's one of His gifts to us and one way we draw closer to Him.
I've learned the hard way that peace is not a place, as I confessed here last summer. God may use quiet walks on the beach, sunsets, campfires, or our own porch to help us pause and remove distractions, but real peace comes when these times turn our attention to His nature, His love for us, and His truth. That's what really refreshes and inspires us ... even though I do love sunsets. If you want to rest well June thru August, join me the next 2 weeks as we unpack the Value of Vacation.