WHY I TAKE MY VACATION -
It has come to light, that apparently there are pastors who don't take their vacation. I know I have complained at the prep work to put the services together while I'm gone and the one upon my return. And it seems like I'm forever putting worship services together. (O, fortunate, Lutherans and Episcopalians, who use a liturgy where some parts are the same from week to week!) However, I know, I am not indispensable, yes, it is a lot of extra work, and yes, there is catching up when one returns, and yes, the possiblity always exists that someone might die or some crisis may ocurr while you are absent and cannot return, nor return in time.
Perhaps, you are much better pastors than I.
But I know myself, and know the healing, recharging, fresh perspective, new eyes and heart and spirit that time away can bring and gives. Even our Lord stepped back and took time apart. What makes us, pastors, think we don't need to or have to or can't take time to?
"Every now and then, go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer, since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power of judgment...God some distance away because then the work appears smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and lack of harmony or proportion is more readily seen."
Wise words of Leonardo da Vinci! He was far from being a slacker and knew the value, wisdom, gift and grace which comes from some time away, a time apart. I know this to be true. I come back in a better place with better perspective. I have experienced new things, a different landscape and rhythm to my day or week. And it refreshes, renews, recharges me. And I return ready to meet the challenges and take up that which I put down for just a time.
I pray that my colleagues would listen to these words of Da Vinci and take for their example, Christ, himself. Take a break. Go away even if just for a week or ten days. Allow yourself to set down the responsibilities we take so earnestly and shoulder with so much devotion. Do your congregation and yourself a big favor and take your vacation. RELAX. Rest in the Lord your God. Do something fun, something you've wanted to do. Spend time with your family, your kids, who need you, your spouse who misses you.
If Leonard Da Vinci could find time to do it amid all he did, and saw and experienced the value of it, surely you can too.
Savor some time away, apart. Savor resting with God.