We become familiar with the experience of being on vacation rather early in life. As children, we receive vacations from having to go to school several times a year. As adults, many of us get paid vacations from the places at which we work.
Having vacation time is not just reserved for the rich. Regardless of whether we have a little or a lot of money to spend on vacation time, our Faith invites us to regard vacation time as part of the daily bread for which we pray in the Lord’s Prayer.
Vacation time tests our loyalty in regard to the exercise of our Faith. In relation to the rest of the year, vacation time is short. We want to make the most of the vacation time that is offered to us.
When we go on vacation, it can be tempting for us to put the practices of prayer and worship on the back burner. If we give in to this inclination, any of the following can easily occur: 1) We can become overwhelmed by all that there is to do during the brief days of our vacation. Trying to take in as much as we can each day can become a drain and a strain. We can feel exhausted rather than being built up. In this situation, tempers can easily flare up with those with whom we are vacationing. 2) At the other extreme, time can get to be heavy on our hands, especially if the weather is rainy and stormy. Vacation time can be challenging when we are separated from our regular routine of activities. 3) Apart from welcoming the Lord into our lives each day while we are on vacation, we can become all bent out of shape by mishaps that might occur while we are on vacation. Most of us hope that the following two things will not happen when we are away from home: one, that the vehicle in which we are traveling breaks down; and that we and those with whom we are traveling become seriously ill or injured.
As we allow the Lord to continue to pilot us while we are on vacation, we will be able to take all that we experience in stride. Prayer enables us to set priorities in a setting in which there is so much to do. Even as in life itself, we simply cannot do all that we would like to do or what others want us to do, even so is this the case during vacation time. Prayer enables us to graciously accept that we don’t have to see or do all that is available on any given one vacation. Prayer helps us to develop an awareness of what the Lord wants us to do during the limited days of our vacation.
As prayer and worship remain as our top priorities while we are on vacation, we will not become bored during vacation time. There is always some new skill that we can learn. There are persons to whom we might reach out, whether via a phone call, a text, an e-mail message, by using the social media and in other ways.
With the Lord as our co-pilot while we are on vacation, we will have what it takes to relate to the mishaps that might occur in a creative and proactive manner. Faith comes to expression in the assurance that regardless of what might occur while we are away from home, with the Lord’s help and guidance, we will safely get through it all.
Daily prayer and weekly worship enable us to take each stage of our vacation, including its end, in stride. As an expression of our gratitude to the Lord for the gift of vacation time, we will want to spend each day as He wants us to do this. As we strive, with His help, to live in this manner, we will be grateful to return home when vacation time is over.
In a sense, vacation time expresses in miniature what it means to live in this world. May we learn from vacation time to make the most of each day in the relatively brief time that we have for living here. As, with the Lord’s help, we strive to live in this way, we will grow in the ability to yearn for the eternal home for which we have been redeemed when the days of our vacation of living in this world will come to an end.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor