We just returned from a family vacation in Williamsburg, VA. I think this is the longest real vacation that we have ever taken. My defininition of a real vacation is one in which neither Todd nor I are working. It’s so easy to put work in there whether it be sermon prep, Bible study prep, fundraising or something of that nature. We refused to do that this time and the difference was amazing. Not to mention that our children appreciated that we made our relationships the priority. After returning home we agreed that this was the best vacation we have ever had. What made this vacation the best? Four things come immediately to mind.
1. Time Together – Choosing to take the 11 hour drive was a good decision. No only did we have the week in Williamsburg but we had the travel time in the car.
2. Short Accounts – We really tried to encourage short accounts. (Quick to ask forgiveness and deal with any conflict.)
3. Simple Things – It’s not about money that you spend but simple things in life that you enjoy together. Cooking together at the condo, grocery shopping together, swimming together, late nights by the pool, taking the boys to ride go-karts, board games and taking walks. Not having wi-fi or cell service at our condo turned out to be a big plus. I confess I did twitter some if we were driving in an area where I had phone service but most of the time I was unplugged.
4. New Things – There is something about new experiences that bonds people together. We explored some new areas of Williamsburg that we did not see on our last visit and this allowed us to build new memories. Learning together draws people closer.
During dinner after returning home the boys wanted to talk about “what was your favorite part of vacation?” Honestly it is hard to pick just one thing. After being pressured to choose I did narrow it down to two things…sitting out by the pool together at night and talking and floating on the “Lazy River” on a 2-person float with my husband for two hours. 🙂
After writing these things I have to parallel it with my relationship with our Heavenly Father. What are the Top 4 ways to have a great relationship with God? They really are similar…
1. Time Together – Scripture tells us in James to Draw near to God and He will draw near to us. Just as this is true with people in your life it is also true with with God. Regular time in prayer and His Word is the primary way to have a growing relationship with the Lord. Meeting with the Lord on a daily basis is key even if it is just for 10-15. As you grow that time will increase.
2. Short Accounts – Unconfessed sin in our lives will always break our fellowship with God. Spiritual maturity is not someone who never blows it but someone is is quick to confess sin and deal with it. Beware of the temptation to whitewash sin. Because of our pride and fallen nature we will be tempted not to be honest with God and others. In place of lying one might be tempted to say “mislead.” Or “said something I should not” instead of gossip. What about “sharing a prayer request” vs. slander. Recently heard someone say “I was unfaithful to my wife” instead of I lied to her and committed adultery. Why is it that we choose the word unfaithful or crossed the line instead of calling it what it is? This is an example of our pride and not dealing thoroughly with our sin. I John 1:9 tells us that If we confess our sins he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Simple Things – Living as a passionate follower of Christ is not complicated. It is a result of simple things…surrender, prayer and obedience to His Word.
4. New Things – Something that is not growing is dying. Whether it be a person, a marriage or a church. New life will always bring new things. How are you growing? This will often require stepping out in faith which will require trust. Those who grow the most are willing to take risks and try new things.
Which of these 4 do you feel the most challenged by? What would you add to this list?