Most of us, at least in theory, look forward to vacation time. We want to get away from our normal routine of activities.
As important and as necessary as are our cell phones and other communication devices, we can become enslaved to these. Like many others, I take my cell phone with me when I go on vacation. What a blessing such a device can be if the vehicle in which we are travelling breaks down, or if we are searching for accommodations at which to stay, or if and when something unusual happens back home with relatives and friends!
Recent studies have indicated that a growing number of us check our mobile phones several times a day in regard to our work places when we are on vacation. Some of us keep in touch several times a day with loved ones and friends whom we have left behind back home.
With this in mind, it is indeed appropriate to ask: why, then, go on vacation? Does not vacation time provide an opportunity to get away for a while from the persons and settings in which we live and interact with others? A former wise supervisor once shared with me the following insight: We need to get away from time to time for our own sake, for the well-being of persons with whom we work and even from persons with whom we live. As a Boy Scout, I got away from my family for two weeks at a time by going to summer camp. During that time, I received one letter per week from my family. I never doubted that they loved me. As I look back, I was grateful to be off of their immediate radar for a couple of weeks.
We live in a society in which more and more, the awareness of the Presence and working of God is being cut out of our lives. As a result of this, on the whole, people in the world are growing increasingly insecure. To me, it seems that nowadays, people are more insecure than was the case as I was growing up.
As we continue to allow the Lord to influence the way that we live, this will affect the manner in which we relate to ourselves, to the persons with whom we live and to those with whom we work or go to school. In regard to ourselves, we will grow in the awareness that as persons, we are a whole lot more than the sum total of what we do. We will be able to take to heart that we have been set free in Christ to relate to work in a prayerful, playful spirit. The burdens of the world are not upon the shoulders of any one of us as individuals. In regard to the persons with whom we live and interact daily, when we proactively distance ourselves from them for a period of time, we will come to appreciate them more deeply. We will realize that we are entrusted to one another for only a limited period of time, and we will want to make the most of that time. In regard to the setting in which we work, persons will appreciate our presence and all that we do. In many cases, the work on which we miss out won’t run away. It will be there for us when we return.
I hope and pray that we will grow in the ability to relate to vacation time as an opportunity to be renewed in gratitude for our own lives, for the persons with whom we live and for those with whom we interact in the various settings to which we will return when our vacations are over.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor