Christian Articles Archive

Vacating

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

The British call it "going on holiday." We Americans look forward to our "vacation." And God knows we need it. There is something about the way He made us that can get wound up like a spring, so tight it'll break unless we get away, unwind, and relax. Often a few days is enough. Sometimes it can take a full week or two before the tension drains out and we feel completely stress free.

It's going back to work that's difficult. You're out of the habit. How many times have you come back after a vacation and said, "It just didn't last long enough!" You struggle to make yourself wake up on time the following Monday. You haul yourself out of bed, get dressed, make coffee, pull out of the driveway, and drag yourself into work. You're there, in body anyway.

It's hard, but we do it because we need to. That's how life is. All vacations come to an end. Otherwise, we'd be bums.

There's an interesting old Celtic word, "truant," that meant "vagrant" or "beggar." You know what I mean. The kind of people who hold up signs that say "Will work for food" but you never see them working. These days "truant" means "one who stays away from business, school, etc. without leave; one who shirks his duty."

Which brings me to thinking about church. Maybe three weeks ago you packed up the car and went on vacation. It's time to be back in church this Sunday. Or maybe it's been since June that you attended regularly. What? It's been years? Habit. You're out of the habit.

We know that to please our employers we need to appear front and center and ready to work. Since when does Jesus get less respect

than your boss? Since when should the work of His kingdom go undone because you've been playing hooky?

There's something seductive about those Club Med commercials: sleepy, tanned bodies on air mattresses bobbing ever-so-gently on calm waters. But there's a time to check out of the hotel and come on home.

It's funny. Some people relax by doing absolutely nothing. They are the stuff couch potatoes are made of. Others relax wonderfully in a completely different kind of environment, like working out in the garden. A change-of- pace is just what the doctor ordered.

Now here's a twist. If you've been away from church "on vacation," more than likely your spirit has gotten thin and dry and stressed out. Empty. Vacated. Maybe in church this coming Sunday your spirit will finally get a break, a breath of fresh air, a real vacation. Maybe church is the vacation, the refreshing change-of-pace, you've been needing all this time.

It is time to come back, isn't it. See you Sunday.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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