Taking a Vacation from God?

Baseball. Barbecues. Bathing Suits. Are you ready for a summer vacation? 

How about a vacation from God?

That sounds irreligious to say, but let’s be honest. It’s tempting to have that mindset during Summertime.

2

Bible gets dusty.
Prayer life shrinks.
Selfies by the pool take priority over acts of service.

After all, the Salvation Army only rings the bell during the Christmas season, so people less fortunate than me must be having fun too, right?

It’s not just individuals who hit pause on spiritual growth.

Churches—at least the ones in my area—are less active after Memorial Day. Other than a Family Camp or Vacation Bible School, the church calendar has a lot of white space.

Women’s Bible studies take a summer break. So do children’s Awana clubs. Small community groups within a church, that meet weekly in homes, are on hiatus.

Even church attendance and tithing is lower during summer. For even if a family has a staycation instead of going out of town, who wants to wait until Sunday afternoon to go on a hike or swim in the lake?

It’s not like God’s a killjoy. The Bible mentions festivities and God’s mandate for people to celebrate life.

Didn’t Jesus say, “the Sabbath was made for man.” We’re meant to rest at least one day out of the week. So why not set aside two weeks of vacation or three months of recreation?

Have I struck a nerve, yet? I hope you know I’m playing devil’s advocate.

I’m also NOT trying to guilt anyone or tell people how to spend their summer. I’m right there with other red-blooded Americans—weaving warm memories with my loved ones this summer.

However, conviction tugged my heart when I put on my sunscreen.

3

Summer break from school and normal routines are no excuse to ignore the Lord. I still need to seek God’s presence through His Word and prayer. I need to put on the armor of Christ as faithfully as my sunscreen.

I need to, but I also WANT to spend time with the Lord this summer because He doesn’t take a vacation from me.

He is ever present. And He longs to have a relationship with each of us that isn’t one-sided or confined to nine months of the year.

So why would I consider a sabbatical from the One who loves me with an everlasting love, and redeemed my soul?

The Bibles says, “Rejoice in the Lord, always!”

Always. Even in this… good ole Summertime.

 

Photos:www.JennyWredePhotography.com

 

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

6 thoughts on “Taking a Vacation from God?”

  1. I’m guilty. Spending every Wednesday night working with AWANA in our church from Sept thru May, I tend to want to play a little hooky on summer Wednesday nights. But, not this year! Your message is plain. God doesn’t take a vacation from us.

    Like

    1. Oh my goodness! Guess who leaves on vacation in 3 days with all her kids/grandkids??? God’s timing is always amazing to me. Actually, I’d been praying about this very thing…every vacation I have such good intentions…spending quality time with Him… taking extra special moments to teach the younger generation a God-lesson that might pop up… sitting around the fire singing choruses in perfect harmony…sharing our favorite Scripture….Yeah, sounds great, doesn’t it? But the reality is that on vacation, time literally flies by! Between planning meals, lathering up with sun screen, throwing in a load of beach towels, making a quick trip to town to restock groceries, the day is done and I’m staring at the ceiling thinking, “Oh, God. How could I have neglected You after You’ve given me this wonderful time with my precious family??? I promise tomorrow I’ll do better!” All that just to say, you are soooo right, Karen! And I thank God for giving you the words to express the struggle that many of us have with this. I appreciate your obedience in being so honest! Now you know how to pray for me next week!

      Like

      1. Oh dear. I don’t want you feeling “guilty” or hearing my voice in your head while you’re on vacation with your family. I understand perfectly the difficulty in maintaining a quality meeting time with the Lord. I just returned from a week-long absence where I watched each day slip through my fingers without that quiet time. Good intentions started out strong….read my Bible and prayed. And the next day, just prayed. And the next day….oops. Where did the day go? Prayers before our meals was all I could maintain.
        So I guess the bottom line. Enjoy your ‘vacation’ and then just like a diet….Get back to your spiritual growth when you’re not juggling a family reunion vacation. Enjoy!! I’ll say twice the prayers for you.

        Like

    2. Well, don’t get me wrong. I think folks do burn out if they’re always serving. Nice to have a summer break in various ministries to recharge. And since attendance gets slimmer in Awana etc.,there’s no harm in taking a break. However, I know take advantage of that break and (as you said) “play hooky” from the Lord. My relationship with the Lord shouldn’t be determined on church attendance or ministries. The Lord fills me up, and is imperative to life the same as breathing. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s