It has been more than a week since my last post, and that is because I have been on vacation. Dictionary.com defines “vacation” as, “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel.” That pretty well hits it on the head, too, because that’s what I did. I suspended work activities, except for a few times that I logged in to check e-mails. I did rest, I did travel, and I did recreate.
Some people have a hard time taking a vacation. They just cannot let go of their responsibilities–usually at work–and relax. Some people might call these folks workaholics, others might call them Type A personalities, still others may refer to them as control freaks or overachievers. I know, because I am one…and I have been called all of the above.
I have gotten better, I think. In fact, spending a total of one hour or less on work-related activities over an eight day period may be a record for me, I don’t know. I do know that that has not always been the norm. I used to justify my inability to disconnect from work by using my position as an excuse. After all, as the one who was “in charge,” there was some danger in letting others handle everything without me, right? I mean, I have to be in the know, and I need to make decisions, and…and…and….
I’m not advocating a dereliction of duty by any means, but it turns out things can usually keep chugging along just fine without me for a while. Especially when the other members of the team are capable and competent. Yes, there are still some things that only I can do, but I have found that those things do not have to be done every day. Sure, there is some catch up I have to do when I do get back to work, but it doesn’t really take all that long, and the time off is far more important.
Vacation allows for rest, and our bodies need to rest. So do our minds. Vacation comes from the root word “vacate” because usually when we take a vacation we vacate our jobs and our homes and we go “somewhere else.” And while that is certainly my favorite kind of vacation, it is not required to go somewhere to take a break. In fact, God designed the calendar for us to take a vacation of sorts once a week. God Himself rested after six days of creating the universe, and He instructs us in His word to do the same. We need to suspend work, relax, rest, take a nap…. If God thought it wise to take a rest, how arrogant of me to think I don’t need to take one.
At the same time, I surely am thankful that when God does rest, He is not disconnected. Things do not pile up while God is resting, waiting for Him to catch up when He gets back to overseeing the universe. God rested after six days of creation, and I do not know of anything in Scripture to suggest that God does not still rest from time to time. But God’s rest is not like my rest. I like to go somewhere, ignore my cell phone, and have limited interaction with my computer. I rarely if ever check voice mails on my office phone when I am on vacation. God does not operate that way. He does not stop hearing prayers; we do not have to leave a message, and hope that God will attend to our concerns when He returns. Nothing happens in the world without God knowing it or allowing it; we do not have to wonder if He was on a trip when natural disasters or shooting sprees take place. I don’t know how it works exactly; as someone with a finite mind I certainly cannot imagine what it must be like to be omnipresent and omniscient. But God is those things, and I am glad that He is.