Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him (Psalm 62:1).
Summer vacation. The words conjure images of a loaded-down vehicle, perhaps pulling a trailer or items secured to the top with a multiplexity of bungee cords. And kids. Kids everywhere. Your kids, their friends, nieces and nephews. Sometimes you don’t even know where the kids came from…they’re just there. In your car.
Summer vacations always involve some sort of travel. As a kid I remember vacation being synonymous with road trips, days sandwiched between my parents or next to my brother in a very hot car. In my teenage-angst opinion, we were going somewhere not fun. All before cell phones and backseat DVD players.
Instead, we entertained ourselves with books and interactive games like the alphabet game where we had to spot the letters of the alphabet in order. It was horrendous because where in tarnation do you find the Q and the X? (If we were lucky, we could find them on the license plates of the cars zooming by.)
Did cars have air-conditioning in the 1980s? I can’t remember. All I can remember is being hot.
I still think about those family vacations, even though those years are long gone. I recently had one of those a-ha moments. Family vacations always had something to do with family! And they always seemed somewhat chaotic.
Can you relate?
Looking back I’ve now realized that my parents strategically designed our family vacations. They wanted us kids to connect with our roots. And they also wanted us to know them—to see them in a different light than just Mom or Dad, but rather as people with their own childhoods, experiences, and good memories.
It was about something else too. Rest. Even through the chaos and the disruption of the normal family schedule, the learning about who we were and where we came from helped us connect as a family. We rested, and it wasn’t just rest for the body. It was the kind of rest that the soul needs.
It’s just like God, our good father, who wants the same for us. He created this beautiful earth, with all its richness and diversity, for us to explore. In these moments where we set aside the day-to-day routine, the schedule, and yes, even the phone, and we rest, breathe, and connect, we discover ourselves. We reconnect, and we learn about each other.
We learn about God too. He wants a vacation with you.
As you are thinking about these last days of summer, is there some time— even just a day or two— for a family vacation? A time out to connect, a time to truly rest? I know that it can feel chaotic or overwhelming to even think about loading up that car, but when you remember the true purpose of a family vacation, everything changes.
Invite Jesus to hop in that hot, loaded-down car with you and adventure together toward his rest.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever had with your kids? Feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post.