Pastor Ron Burcham
Officially, the first day of summer is June 21. Okay, but considering that daytime temperatures have already been in the triple digits, I think it is safe to say that summer is already here. Just the other day my neighbor, in an effort to cut down on his utility bills, was searing a couple steaks on the sidewalk! Yep, summer is here.
Summer means summer vacations. Unless you are retired, then you don’t take vacations, you take trips! At least that is what I have been told. Either way, for many people it is time to get away for a little recreation. Or as they say in England, it is time to take a holiday, no doubt a jolly one.
Have you ever thought about the definitions of those three words? Consider:
Vacation: A period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel.
Recreation: Refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
Holiday: A time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.
Sometimes, also called holidays. Chiefly British: a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.
The truth of the matter is we all need time to rest and find refreshment. We all need time to change the routine, and mix things up a bit. I suppose that you could do that at home and not travel. I find that incredibly hard, if not impossible, to do. When you stay home, all those activities that need to be done are staring you in the face, beckoning you to get busy. Time away, even if not far away, has the advantage in that you cannot do those chores.
In reality, a vacation, that is time for rest and refreshment are central to how God made us. There were six days of creation and “so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 2:2) When He was establishing Israel He said, “For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest, holy to the Lord.” (Exodus 31:15) We find this to be true even in the life of Jesus. On one occasion he said to his disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)
If you dig a bit deeper into the meaning of recreation, it can also be read re-creation; to be made anew or to be renewed – re-created. If you dig into holiday you would discover that it originally meant holy day; a day that is set aside to honor God. In reality, vacations/trips are an important part of how God created us. Time away gives an opportunity to be re-created. Time to honor Him by taking care of us – His special creation.
I pray that you find time this summer for a vacation, some recreation, your own holiday.