Vacation Rest vs. Real Rest

This week as I was walking into a store, I bumped into a friend who was finishing the last of her errands before taking off for a family vacation. All of the children, grandchildren, and of course the husband, were going. She had been working, planning and organizing for weeks so this would be a wonderful experience for all. Plenty of ideas were planned for the grandchildren. No extra expenses would be burdensome for her children. So the “free” vacation would be just that. She wanted her husband to feel like it was all easy and stress-free. “It will be a great time for everyone”, she said, and then followed up with, “I can come back the next week and catch up on my rest.”

Boy, have we all been there. This conversation brought to mind some thoughts I have had over the past year. When is time away “vacation” and when is it “rest”? I’ve mentioned before, last summer Bill and I left home for over two months. Where we were went, people were taking really nice vacations. I kept thinking of the difference between their purpose and ours. It was somewhat understandable, though hurtful, when we would hear comments from others that we were “gallivanting somewhere in Europe,” or “fleeing real life”. I had never felt less like I was on a vacation, much less a vacation rest.

Bill and I were in hopes of “real rest”, one that went deeper than taking a break from work. What is the rest that I am talking about? One of our daughters said it best this past week. We look for things to change or for life to be different, but what we are all searching for is peace on the inside. Peace. Only Jesus can give that. We can keep bumbling along in life or on vacation and keep hitting our hurt leg on the same coffee table everyday and get nowhere. When we pull away and ask God to mend our soul, spirits and “leg,” we find the rest and peace we are all so powerfully seeking. During these last weeks of August, many will try to make the most of the last days of summer vacation. It may be camping close by on the James River or taking a trip to some exotic place. There is that need for rest and a change of pace. I hope those who need rest will find it.

I believe Jesus’ promise still stands: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learned the unforced rhythms of grace, I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11-28-30 (The Message)

May our Savior give all of us who are weary on any level, “the unforced rhythms of grace”.


4 thoughts on “Vacation Rest vs. Real Rest

  1. Thank you, Lindy, that was beautiful. I can identify with both you and the friend you met who was planning her vacation. Sometimes vacations are more work than rest and relaxation. On past family vacations with all the children and grandchildren, I set high goals and wanted everything to be perfect and I felt responsible to make sure everyone had a great time. It doesn’t always work out that way. Now too, I am searching for that peace you write about…and the scripture you quoted is the answer. The Lord be with you and Bill during this time of rest. And thank you for your beautiful notes.

  2. Beautifully written, Lindy. Thanks for expressing what I have felt so many times. Peace and love to you and Bill.

  3. Thank you Lindy for reminding us that a different location doesnt necessarily give us peace and rest. Enjoying my home and surroundings without the hassle of planning, packing, and traveling has been our rest time this summer. Turns out Jesus is helping us turn more to Him in search of peace and rest.

  4. As always, Lindy, you do such a great job expressing yourself in the written word. I thought it was interesting that in this month’s InTouch Magazine (Charles Stanley), there is an article entitled, God Doesn’t Need You, that also used the same passage of Scripture from the MSG. 🙂 I posted on FB — you can check it out. Great advice for all of us.

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