We're off in a few hours on a brief trip to Hong Kong! We have some medical appointments to complete (actually a rather thorough medical checkup) and then plan to spend some time playing. However, that also meant that my husband got up at 3am today trying to finish some emails before we travel! Better that than "work" pursuing him into our time away. We hope that the week will be quite refreshing!
Something new for us this time is that we are seeking to do our best to "vacation to the glory of God!" This is something we've been trying to do for a long time but I think not ever really doing a great job at it. Why does it seem like "vacation" in our minds means: checking out, being lazy, eating all we want and more, and just generally indulging our every selfish whim? Why do we believe the lie that this kind of behavior is more "fun" than being disciplined to spend time with the Lord?
I think part of it is fatigue. Usually we are tired and just wanting to "relax" going into vacation, which leads to us indulging ourselves, sleeping in everyday, using media or food or whatever to try to fill that need for rest and refreshment, rather than maintaining our spiritual disciplines and seeking refreshment from the Lord. By the end of vacation, we might feel physically rested and with satiated appetites, but we can tend to feel spiritually dull, since we have spent all of our time satisfying the flesh. Another part is probably just the age-old temptation to sin. Not trusting the promises of God to be truly satisfying, trying to make satisfaction for ourselves, rebelling against the idea that disciplining ourselves for the purpose of godliness CAN and DOES bring refreshment, not just physically but for our whole person!
But I finally feel like we are growing in this and hope to make this vacation different. That's not to say we won't still go out to eat, do fun things with the girls, and all of those things, but our attitudes are different. Our focus is different. By His grace, we hope to keep our priorities in the right place and enjoy the benefits that He brings through that!
What about you? Do you find it difficult to maintain quiet times and a vibrant relationship with Father while traveling or on vacation? What do you do to combat that? I'd love to hear more ideas about this topic!
Here's one idea to get started: I plan to try and memorize one verse each day, so that even if my morning time is a bit shorter or interrupted by kids getting up, I can take that verse with me into the day and meditate on it. We plan to do lots of things out and about, so this could be a good way to keep my heart focused even in those situations.
So, will you pray for us this week? John and I are of one mind on this and want this vacation to be different, for God's glory and our good. Thank you! I'll be sure to write an update when we get back!