What is a Vacation For?
When you think of a vacation you might get different images to pop into your head. Those might range from: a beach with lapping waves and warm breezes, a cabin in the mountains, or riding rollercoasters in an amusement park.
These are natural thoughts because when we think of a vacation we think of a break from our current routine. We want an escape from the process of getting up, going to work, going home, eating dinner, going to bed and then repeat. So we think of being somewhere else fun or relaxing.
But is that all a vacation is for, just being somewhere else? Is it really just not working instead of working? What is a vacation for?
A vacation is for:
- Mental break from the routine – Actually a vacation is for a break in the routine. Getting away from what could be a regular routine can help keep one’s sanity. But this should not be the only reason to take a vacation.
- Physical recharging – Some vacations tire one out so much that they go back to work with less energy than they had before. Sometimes a break from the stresses of the job should include physical rest and recharging. Notice what God gave Elijah when he faced perilous times and was so depressed that he requested to die. “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” (1 Kings 19:5-8) God allowed Elijah to sleep, get up and eat, go back to sleep, and get up to eat. How much differently do we look at things, including the world around us and our work at hand, when we get a good night’s sleep and a good meal.
- Spiritual recharging – Some may think of a vacation as a chance to load up their time with only fun and relaxation. And while some of that can be good, neglecting the spiritual recharging would be a bad use of vacation time. What wears us down in the world is not only physical exhaustion from work and activities, but spiritual exhaustion from dealing with the world and our own temptations and struggles. A vacation should recharge us spiritually to be more prepared to go back into the work and the fight against Satan when the vacation is over. Jesus Himself took breaks from the work in which He was involved. But notice how the Bible records what He did with the time during those breaks. “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23) “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Our vacation plans should not be finished until we include some time for spiritual recharging.
A vacation is supposed to be a break from what we are doing. But it is not a break just for the sake of change. We should be spending that precious break time to recharge ourselves and better prepare for going back and living the Christian life in our normal routine. We should be more rested and encouraged after the vacation to get back to the work, both secular and for God. After all, the vacation ends at some point. If we are not better off mentally, physically, and spiritually after the vacation is over, maybe we should have skipped the vacation and stayed at work.