on holidays …

Oh, the joy of packing for a three week family holiday in Florida.

It’s like nothing else…

It’s that feeling of getting out the summer clothes and sunscreen, and preparing to inhabit a sunnier climate

It’s that feeling of finishing off and handing projects across to colleagues, and putting your out of office on.

And it’s that feeling of checking out of ‘normal life’,  stepping away from your endless list of chores, and being able to do whatever you choose, and at whatever pace you like…

For three whole blissful weeks.

There’s nothing like that feeling of getting ready to go on holiday.

But also, it strikes me that maybe we shouldn’t really need a holiday from ordinary life in order to slow down, and feel free to enjoy our lives.

And maybe if  you need a holiday to force you to slow down, unplug your phone, get offline for a while, or just to relax and enjoy your life … maybe this is a sign that your ordinary, everyday life is too full.

But we live in such an over-crammed, hyper-connected, super-productive world, don’t we?  And so slowing down and creating more space for your soul can often seem frivolous, lazy or even a bit selfish, can’t it?

But almost every time I open my Bible, I am reminded that the pull towards endless busyness and constant productivity is not a god-given thing.  In fact, right from the very start of creation, He created the Sabbath – one day of rest in every seven.

I guess observing the sabbath is something that most modern christians would say that they still do. But honestly, I think that early Jewish and Christian communities understood and practised ’sabbath’ much better than we do today.

Because for them, it was not just a day for going to church instead of work; a day for exchanging one kind of busyness for another.  It was a day for actually stepping away from the schedule, the ‘to do’ list, and the busyness of the week, in order to rest and re-energise – body, mind, and spirit.

And lately I keep finding myself drawn back to these words of Jesus, which sound almost as if they could have been written specifically for our world today in 2019, and not some 2000 years ago:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 – The Message (MSG)

The bottom line is that holidays are great, but we shouldn’t run and run and run until we crash and burn.

Jeremiah 2: 25 puts it like this: “Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry.” What great advice!

So, why not try it?

Try creating just one day in your weekly schedule for slowing down, disconnecting, and really allowing your soul to rest?

If you want some more ideas on how you could do this in practice, why not check out my other blog: On Learning to Rest

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