Among other things, summertime is often the season for vacations. Where we go and what we do usually depends on our interests, family situations, and pocketbooks. But there is one constant for all of us: the command to love Jesus and our neighbor. If we are called to be intentionally Christ-obsessed in all things, vacations are no exception. So while R and R is a good thing and God’s world is worth seeing, we must pursue fun in a Christ-honoring way.
For me and my family, this pursuit includes one very practical need. Sleep. Not too little, nor too much. When we stay up late and get up early for several days, grumpiness lurks. When we sleep more than is customary, we get lazy and dull. So, when we travel, we keep an open eye on our shut-eye. We seek to maintain the same average amount of sleep as we normally have at home. We do throw in the occasional nap or sleep-in, but we have to be careful not to set a trap for ourselves by under sleeping then over sleeping.
A second practical need is to guard our attitudes and our mouths. There is something about being around people we love and adore 24/7 that causes us to forget how much we love and adore them. Vacations seem to be breeding grounds for selfishness, whininess, and all manner of unkindness. The Bible’s instructions to “regard others as more important than yourselves” and “treat others as you want to be treated” and “do nothing out of selfish ambition” are left at home in the underwear drawer. It should not be that way. Walking in the Spirit and bearing His fruit is just as important on vacation as anywhere else.
Which leads to the next practical issue. People often take a vacation from Spiritual disciplines on their vacations. How about you? Do you pray when you’re away? Do you read God’s Word or do family devotions on trips? Do you sing and reflect on the Lord’s goodness? If not, is it any wonder that temptations abound and often win?
A successful and enjoyable vacation requires decent planning and preparation. Thought for how you are going to please the Lord Jesus and demonstrate kindness to others ought to be part of that plan because getting away from everyday life does not mean we may get away from everyday love.