Our summer officially began this past week with a family vacation in Montana. For the past ten years we’ve spent a week or two each summer at a gorgeous vacation home on the shore of Flathead Lake thanks to the generosity of some friends. While we are there, literally several times a day we find ourselves overwhelmed by the beauty around us and the awesome time we are having with our family.
Bernice and I have always been committed to taking the time and money to have family vacations. It’s important to us. Throughout the years we’ve created an incredible storehouse of memories with our kids on vacations, and now we’re adding on more with our grandkids too.
Everyone needs to find time for vacations, whether it’s going on a cruise or camping on the beach. It’s not just a good idea for our souls; it’s also an important part of raising your kids. There’s nothing like a vacation to draw you close and strengthen the bond you have as a family.
God’s Point of View on Vacations
Taking vacations was God’s idea. He got the whole thing started. The Bible encourages us to take three kinds of vacations:
- A Daily Vacation – God made our bodies with a need for rest. We need to sleep. It’s a gift (Psalm 127:1-2). Are you making sure you get enough sleep?
- A Weekly Vacation – When God rested on the 7th day, after six days of creating the world, it wasn’t because He was tired and worn out. He rested to give us an example to follow. Our body, soul, and spirit need to be replenished by stepping away from work one day each week.
- A Yearly Vacation – Have you noticed how many annual holidays God prescribed for His children to keep? Passover is a 7-day celebration, and that’s just one of the annual holidays God gave as a time to step away from work.
You may recall the day Jesus said to His closest followers, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile. For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat” (Mark 6:31). That sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it? There is too much to do and not enough time – even to the point where we can’t find time to eat.
So what’s the antidote?
Stop working and rest: Daily, weekly, yearly. Why? Because God and Jesus – who know us better than we know ourselves – told us to.
On this Father’s Day weekend I’ve been thinking about some of the things I could have done different as a dad of three children. I wish I had listened more and talked less. I wish I hadn’t made such a big deal out of small things. I should have had more empathy. I could have done better.
But when it came to taking annual vacations, I got that right. And I think our family is better for it. And it can be a great benefit for yourself and your family too. But don’t just make it a yearly thing. Make “vacations” an essential part of your life every day and every week.
by Dave Gudgel