I love serving at church. I have made coffee and welcomed people as they arrive. If needed, I will fill-in to pass the collection plate or the elements of communion. There is often a need for rocking infants during the service or for telling a bible story in the children's class room. Serving is rewarding and fulfilling, and well, sometimes it can be tiring.
I've heard it said that Christians never retire. We keep on sharing Jesus and doing the work God calls us to do. The ways in which we share may change through the years but there is never a point where we say, "I've done enough." There is never a point where we stop talking about Jesus, stop loving others, or stop being a part of the mission of sharing Christ. Some of the best pastors are well past accepted retirement age. Some of the most profound wisdom comes from the elderly.
So, if Christians don't retire, is the same true of vacations? It's all too apparent that this world needs Christian workers. There is always someone who needs to hear about Christ, someone who needs to see his love and benefit from grace.
Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;" Matthew 9:37 ESV
Whether we serve in a foreign mission, teach Sunday school, lead bible study, volunteer in a homeless shelter or nursing home; there is always work to be done and few workers to accomplish it. Is there a time when we take a step back, put up our hand and say, "I need a break?" Many churches have mandatory vacations built in to the pastor's schedule. Volunteers and mission oriented persons benefit from a break in the schedule, too.
- A vacation may take the form of travel, a change of city, state, country or simply a change of scenery. It allows for exploration and enjoyment of God's creation.
Psalm 24:1 proclaims that the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord.
- A vacation allows the mind to dwell on new things, to make new discoveries. It allows for a change of perspective. It may cause us to release our grip on the old, habitual methods of serving and to become open to something new.
God said to Israel. "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up: do you not perceive it?" Isaiah 43:19 NIV
- Vacation allows for more quiet time of meditation and prayer.
With so much work to be done, Jesus took his disciples aside to a quiet place to spend time with him and to rest. (Mark 6:31)
- Gather the family, sit down together and schedule a vacation.
- Notify those in charge of your service at church or of your volunteer work, that you will need someone to fill in.
- If it isn't financially wise to go away for an entire week or to travel to a distant location, be creative.
- Look for locations close to home.
- Get away for a day of two, leaving the computer and the phone at home.
- Spend a weekend with a complete change of routine.
The point of a vacation is to renew our relationship with Jesus, renew our energy and renew our excitement for God's work. A vacation is a chance to strengthen and renew our Christian faith.