I just returned from a 10-day vacation to Oregon and the Washington coast. I love vacations – they always remind me just how much I miss on a daily basis in my hurried life. Vacations allow me to take time to contemplate the important and make space in my crowded life to notice the movements of the Spirit of God.
Vacation – time to refocus – allows me to see there is more to life than efficiency and productivity. It helps me take time to contemplate – to see life more through eyes of faith, love and hope. It helps me ask the “I wonder how God sees this?” questions in situations rather than making quick judgments. Time to contemplate also helps me stay in the present rather than going to my own “if only’s.” Returning from my vacation, I have purposed to slow down and contemplate the most important things in my life by…
- …not crowding out my alone time with Jesus — intentionally placing myself in his presence in a still, quiet place. I have a chair in my home office where I can light a candle. I can take a “mini-vacation” each time I choose to go there to meet with my Lord! I can picture myself sitting at his feet or leaning against his shoulder and rest there in his love.
- …asking Jesus what he wants to say to me, reading through scripture and contemplating its meaning for my life and relationships each day, and sitting in listening prayer to hear his voice.
- …walking with Jesus. I enjoyed my solitary walks along the boardwalk near the ocean beach in Washington. But, walking in my own neighborhood can also provide time to contemplate and be with Jesus. There I can focus on noticing and appreciating his gifts and goodness both in and around me. I can worship him with quiet or by listening to praise music as I walk.
- …focusing more on the people in my life. I really want to see them and listen to them with my heart. Relationships are especially important to Jesus, and I want to love people with the same passion he does. I want to view others – even those I meet casually – with his eyes.
- …dancing in intimacy with Jesus. You might ask, “What in the world does that look like?” I like to remember myself as a little girl asking my daddy to dance with me. He would invite me to stand on his feet as he carefully stepped me around the room in our dance. It didn’t matter if I didn’t know the steps…Daddy was leading me…and the laughter and joy of that freeing experience was so very special! To me, dancing with Jesus is an invitation from him to re-discover freedom and adventure – to experience him in new and fresh ways. There, I can view my day with new perspective, even when the world around appears to be falling apart. It’s about “dancing” with him even in the midst of tough times, as he invites me into his safety and security. And, isn’t that the ultimate sense of vacation?
- Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist