I smell seawater.
I feel warm sand on the bottoms of my pasty-white feet.
In my mind I picture devious seagulls flying above, taking aim and preparing to unload on unsuspecting beach-goers below.
That’s right – I’m precariously close to leaving for some much overdue time with my family. Lord willing, we will embark on the nine-hour drive to Clearwater Florida on Tuesday of next week and I don’t believe the Lyles have ever been more ready for a family vacation. It has been over a year since we took some unobstructed time together as a family unit to enjoy the bliss of duty-less schedules, silent cell phones, muted texting and administrative inertia. There will be no sermon prep, no woman-to-woman counseling for Amy and no suffocating parameters of the tortuous diet that has owned me since the first week of March. Yep, God hath ordained a big ol’ heapin’ bucket of nothingness for me and my clan.
“In our Western world, total labor has vanquished leisure. Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for nonactivity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture and ourselves.” – Josef Pieper
There was a time as a pastor when I looked for ways to defend my need for a break. I believe there were years when it seemed necessary to apologize to people for the immense weakness in me that necessitated an annual break from the rigors of ministry. Those days are gone and have been replaced with a borderline-adolescent giddiness as I sense that time away is within my reach. So many of you who read this blog have served to encourage me in the need for rest and I’m grateful. I now turn and offer you back your same advice. Get away when you can. Turn everything off for a week. Let the world spin without your involvement and just find the bliss of abiding in the recuperating ministry of God. Let your mind rest in all that He has done on your behalf. Sleep late and lounge around as you allow the tight, panicky stress to find another victim other than yourself. Mind you that you are not able to live like this perpetually but a little holiday will bring strength back to God’s tired servants. I hope you’ll allow yourself the soul relaxing, mind relieving, body restoring, spirit reviving opportunity for leisure sometime soon. I sure am looking forward to it.
So tell me, do you have any plans to get away this year?
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