Just back from vacation. A much needed time of rest and reflection. God blessed abundantly as we took time to look at and listen to His creation.
On occasion I have been so glad to get away from it all that I couldn’t forget what I was trying to get away from during the whole time of vacation. Usually it was some conflict or big issue or some kind of trouble that was going on at church. Sorry to confess this here, but I was glad not to be camping with so and so or having to deal with such and such. I was escaping or escamping you might say. Funny thing about escaping though, it doesn’t last long. Getting away means you have to go back to whatever it was that was troubling you in the first place.
Even Jesus took time off to get away from ministry.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. 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”
If you think about it though, just taking them aside and trying to give them a place of rest was ministry for Jesus. Even on His “vacation”, He was ministering. Could that mean that ministry never stops? I think so. Ministry, or Service goes on no matter where you are. You can be praying for church folk back home, sending a quick email or text, holding a door for someone with their hands full at the camp store, sharing some firewood with a new camper, making a grand breakfast for all in your campsite, carrying water for thirsty hikers or a hundred other things that are ministry. So ministry never stops really. Even if you were totally alone, you might be ministering in God’s gardens and mountains and pastures.
Funny thing about this vacation, we weren’t in any hurry to leave people and problems behind, in fact, we went camping with some church members and their families. Instead of depleting us, they helped to refresh us. I know, there are some folks you wouldn’t want to go camping with from your family or church, that’s OK, I’ll give you a pass on that. But getting away from people is not the healthiest reason to take a vacation(sometimes you have to, I know). Getting closer to God is. And the closer you get to God, the more you’re vacation will be a place where God ministers to you so that you may continue to serve Him and His Kingdom.
Take a vacation this Summer. Get away. Take a break. Go fishing. Stop and smell the roses(Pine needles for me). Take lots of pictures. Charge your batteries. Sleep in. Work less. Play more. God gives us this wonderful gift of time away so that we can really be there for people when we get back. Loving people never stops. Jesus knew that. If you remember it as well, your “Vacation” will be that much more energizing.