vacation and rest

Vacation.

Kids out of school. Time off work. Traveling. Home projects. Beaches and mountains. Family and friends.

For many of us, summer offers a drastic change of pace from the rhythm and routine of the rest of the year. The word “vacation” originates from the idea of “freedom or release from activity or occupation.” We literally vacate our normal lives for a period of time. And in our busy N.A. work-based lives, a vacation is exactly what we need.

The author of Hebrews raises an important point for consideration:

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest... (Heb. 4:9-11 NIV).

Personally, I sometimes wonder if my vacations are actually restful. Special activities. Road trips. House projects. Day trips. You know the saying: “places to go, people to see.” I may have vacated my busy routine, but often I simply trade one type of busyness for another. Is this really rest?

In a world of adventure and activity, rest is hard. Vacations can be fun, sure, but not always restful. Ironically, as Hebrews points out, rest actually takes “effort.” Rest is hard work. And clearly, rest is necessary. Even God rests.

So as I embark on vacation next week, and as you consider your own change of pace this summer, I challenge us to not simply vacate our normal routines or trade one form of busyness for another. May we also rest. Such an “effort” is exactly what we need!

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