Psalm 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped.
For our first devotion in this series, we discussed the importance of avoiding the many slippery places or situations that we may find common in our lives. We mainly focused on the slippery place of “transition.” Today, I would like for us to focus on our second slippery place.
SLIPPERY PLACE #2 – VACATION TIME
Don’t we all look forward to vacation time? We give ourselves day in and day out to our responsibilities, and sometimes it’s just nice to take a day off for some relaxation, recuperation, and recreation. Pastor Esposito used to say that vacation time is a great time for “re-creation.” Not necessarily the “recreation” that we may be thinking, but more so a time where we can “re-create” ideas to be better at the current responsibilities that God has given.
Please remember that vacation times are an important tool in making sure that we are fresh throughout the year. In addition, family vacations are a necessity to ensure that our families stay tight-knit. But as beneficial as vacation times can be, it may also be a very slippery time. It seems that most of us work best within our normal routines. For many, we are governed by our schedules, and our schedules keep us accountable to do that which is right. However, when we are on vacation (out of our normal routine), we can be susceptible to getting out of schedule spiritually.
For example, reading our Bibles and praying in the morning before heading to work is an automatic for us since we have to get up anyway to get to work on time. But now that we are on vacation, and have the ability to sleep in longer, we can hinder our time with God because of slothfulness. We may end up reading our Bibles later in the day, but before you know it, our time with God gets shorter and shorter, and seems to be more “inconvenient” than ever before.
The same applies with church attendance. On vacation, we may opt to find a church service that is available via livestream. Aside from vacation, we were attending services whenever the church doors were open, but on vacation, we may be tempted to just catch a Sunday morning service. While it’s not necessary for someone that was plugged into a church as a committed ministry worker to find a church on vacation to usher, or sing in the choir, or work the nursery…it is very important to make church services a priority.
Here are some tips we can apply to avoid slipping during our vacations:
1. Plan in advance. Before going on vacation, put some time aside to figure out where good churches are, and base your vacation around that. This cannot always be the case in all parts of the world we want to visit, but it can be true for many cases. The point is that we need to plan in advance so we know what to expect, as opposed to just going off of a whim.
2. Write out a daily schedule/itinerary. We should have strategic goals for our vacation. If it’s for rest, that’s fine…get rest. If it’s for getting fresh ideas…let’s go get them. If it’s for relationship-bonding time with our family, let’s make sure to get that quality time. Be sure to schedule in proper rest so you don’t get too burned out on vacation and require another vacation to get over the first one.
One of the mistakes people make on vacation is doing more of everything else and doing less of that which is “spiritual.” Make sure to include your time in the Bible and prayer…and stick to it. As previously mentioned, schedule in what you plan to do for church, with a few alternative plans in case something doesn’t work out.
3. On your final day(s) of vacation, prepare for a healthy return to normal life. Be in prayer and be excited about returning to your normal routine and responsibilities. Bring some fresh ideas with you. Determine to not waste your vacation by returning stronger than ever.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Maybe the reason we have trouble hearing God is because of all the unfiltered noise we are allowing.
In order for anything or anyone to be truly successful or lasting, I believe God has rules laid out to be followed.