Summer Vacation for the Soul

July 17, 2009

in Everyday Traditions

There’s something about summer vacation that makes the world right again.  When done right, time away can give fresh perspective, a new appreciation for ‘home,’ and a renewed sense of purpose.  Of course, it can also be a little tiring.

We have a few trips planned for the summer…with 1 down and 2 to go, I’m so grateful for these little pieces of refreshment.  But, I’ve been thinking about how to give the same ‘reboot’ to my soul.  So, here’s my ‘5 Ways’ list for this week…

5 Ways to Give Your Soul a Vacation (Even if you can’t leave town)

1Mix it Up. Perhaps the best thing about vacation is the way leaving the normal everyday awakens you to LIFE.  I love the feeling of returning home from vacation and actually wanting routine again.  I think that a good solid Bible reading plan works best for typical devotions (at least it does for me).  But, one way to ‘go on vacation’ in your spirit would be to take a break from your normal reading and spend a week or so in a new place.  Read a short book like Ezra or Philippians.  Change up anything you’d like for your devotional time and then return to your normal schedule when you feel ready and excited for the routine again.

2Expose Yourself. Another great part of summer vacations is the opportunity to be exposed to different places or people.  Trips overseas or even a few states over often make me appreciate the climate, the parks, and the place I am so much more.  Everything about ‘home’ seems simpler or even better understood after seeing someone else’s ‘home.’  A way to do this spiritually would be to learn about church in another culture, or even in another part of your own country.  You could listen to worship music sung in another language or even just expose yourself to preaching from a different denomination.  The change up may both humble you and make you more appreciative of what you have and where you are.

3Make Contact. Ads often depict a great vacation as someone sitting all ALONE on a beach somewhere.  But, let’s face it, though a day or so of totally alone time would be nice.  We’d eventually feel pretty, well, LONELY.  A great part of vacations is the opportunity to connect with friends or family members that we haven’t seen in a while. Though you might not get to see the person in person, you could try to make contact with an old mentor or friend from the past.  Hearing a different perspective and finding out what God’s teaching these old friends may wake you up spiritually to want more out of your walk with God.

4Go Outside. If possible, most people would choose to vacation in the most beautiful spots around the world.  But, this is a ‘spiritual vacation,’ so you’d think beautiful scenery is not completely necessary.   Even if it’s muggy and mosquito-ey, being outside a bit seems like a must for a spiritual kick in the pants.  Psalm 19 says that the whole world is talking to us about God.  I’ll never forget the way the Grand Canyon made me feel when I was in 9th grade or the way Machu Picchu challenged me when I was in college.  I’m not heading to either of those locations any time soon, but the Psalms remind us that the sun in the sky is enough to wake us up to God’s awesome rule in our lives.

5Be Daring. When I’m on vacation, I feel bold and courageous.  I tend to wear my hair funny, eat strange dishes, and try physical dares that I’d run from at home.  Spiritually, I can often find myself in the rut of everyday-seeing it as a victorious day if I read my Bible and didn’t lose my temper.  A spiritual vacation is a great time to speak out to that lady at the park about God’s beauty all around us, to cook a little extra for my neighbor, or to try to pray some bolder prayers.  Too often, I see my walk with God as sitting on a park bench rather than a breathtaking hike through an unchartered country.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for vacation.  I’m hoping to try a few of these in the next few weeks, both when I’m in my everyday routine and when we’re off for official ‘vacation.’  What about you?


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Chele July 17, 2009 at 9:27 am

Great ideas! Thank you for sharing!! I am definitely ready for a vacation but I need to do some of those things you mention! :)

Chele’s last blog post..Friday’s Blessings

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