When Vacation Turns Into a Vacuum
Before I became a real adult and started working 40 hours a week, I had a period of my summer where I was traveling off and on for about 4 weeks. Weddings, visiting family and friends had me in a few different states, loving every bit of it. Yet somehow when I landed back at home, I wasn't feeling full.
By no means am I about to complain about vacation; but I am going to call myself out on some problems I've discovered.
Vacations are great because they give you a break from your normal, (most likely) stressed-crazy-exhausting-life. It's about relaxing, having a good time, and actually sitting down to breathe for a change. Since I wasn't working a whole lot prior to my travels, this wasn't necessarily the case for me, but I was still excited about having a break from my routine in Arizona.
Packing for vacation, I always bring my Bible and journal. I imagine myself having a relaxing morning, sitting outside with my cup of coffee and spending time with Jesus. Which, to be fair, I have done many times before on vacation... BUT not enough, and not lately. These past vacations, my Bible has mostly sat in my bag, collecting dust. I was so busy vacationing that I was taking a vacation from Jesus too.
I found myself feeling empty, discouraged, and wondering why. I would return home and reflect on my trip, realizing I didn't really have anything to say. A lot happened, but I wasn't feeling inspired about any of it, just numb and emotionless.
Funny (yet not) how I was feeling all of those things because I was shutting out the only one who could have given me that peace and fullness I needed.
Vacation comes from the root "vac" which coincidentally (or not) means: "empty, unoccupied; to be empty." I found that interesting because that's exactly how I would describe my heart after taking my break from Jesus.
I understand taking a break from your stressful job or crazy home life, but why is it that we don't bring Jesus with us when we're supposedly having the time of our lives? Loving Jesus and choosing that lifestyle quickly turns into another chore during our week that can add to our stress. For me, I know that choosing to read my bible most days of the week is a good thing to do and what I should be doing. I'm happy to do it during the week because it's along with the rest of my routine; so when it comes to vacation, He seems to get left behind as well.
I can get frustrated with myself at this point, wondering why my heart's first desire isn't Jesus; because ultimately when I think about it, that's what I want. So why doesn't my being agree?
This season of life really is all about bring Jesus into every aspect of it. The good, the bad and everything else in-between. He wants to be a part of it. So my prayer everyday is going to be for my heart to truly desire Jesus. It's not about "forcing" myself to do something. God doesn't want my time with him to be another item to check off my to do list. He doesn't want me to feel like I have to do anything, because if that's where my heart is, it's not doing me any good. Isn't that why our God is so good? He gives every decision to us. He's always choosing you - you have to choose him back.
If I can just get myself to that point where I develop that desire for God, I won't have to feel like he's comparable to anything else in my life. I will want to take him everywhere I go, and have him as a part of every day of my life. That's what I'm praying for.
I realize quickly that my life is nothing without Jesus. I need to start living by recognizing him in everything I do. He's there, I just need to acknowledge him and stop leaving him behind with the rest of my busy life.
Keep praying for more of Jesus.