Summer vacation is here!
Well, at least for the students in our lives. For the rest of us, summer often means that at some point, we may go on vacation. Going on a vacation is a wonderful blessing, but we must keep in mind that we never take a vacation from our faith. As summer is unofficially underway, I thought I’d offer some perspective on how to stay consistent as we follow Christ.
Worship. Worship is the central act in the life of every Christian. It is the one time each week we are gathered before God and one another. When we go on vacation, there is always a temptation to skip worship. I suggest that when it is practical, we should always go to worship. If we are in a new city or vacation spot, it might be a great time to visit a church that is not Presbyterian. Worshiping in a different tradition and style can be a real blessing to our time away and recharge our spiritual batteries.
Obviously, if we are on a long drive or flying, it may not be practical, but when we can, we should go.
Devotions. This is the word Christians use for the daily practices we use to stay connected to Christ throughout the week when we aren’t in worship. How we do our devotions varies person to person. Typically, Bible reading and prayer are the main components. Some people use devotionals like The Present Word and other tools that are set up for daily readings. When we go on vacation, we need to maintain our daily practices as much as possible for one simple reason: If we stop doing devotions for vacation, it will become harder to pick it up when we return home. Before we know it, weeks or even months will go by, and we will soon find ourselves struggling.
Unique Opportunities. If we are blessed to go somewhere like the beach or the mountains, we must be sure to take advantage of the beauty we find in those places. A sunrise at the beach or the summit of a hike that ends with an exceptional view are perfect moments to spend some time in prayer. Some of the most powerful moments in my faith journey have happened at sunrise on the beach, or taking in a mountaintop vista.
For those blessed with a vacation this summer, my hope and prayer is that it will be a time for faith in Christ to be enriched, that it will supplement rather than supplant spiritual growth.