In my mind, vacations are as American as apple pie and baseball. Europeans take them even more seriously than we do in the U.S.
So I was a bit surprised to read a short devotional recently by someone who has obviously got a bad case of the Protestant Work Ethic. This anonymous author argued that we should attend to more important matters and asked questions such as, “In two years, will it matter?” Holiday planning was denigrated as a “smaller, less meaningful concern.”
I respectfully disagree.
In the Christian faith, we believe Sabbath is built into the rhythms of our psyche. All work and no play makes Jack and Jill very dull indeed. When I take vacations, when I get away from the usual ruts and busy-ness, my batteries are recharged. I am replenished. Rest and restoration are desirable.
Travel makes me a bigger person. I think new thoughts. I enjoy new experiences, new sites, new smells, and new tastes. I understand the world we live in more fully.
Travel provides many of our family’s most meaningful memories.
- My wife Sally and I were in Paris for her 40th That was a pretty big deal.
- My daughter Jenna and I remember our trip to New York City during a Christmas holiday when snow covered the parks and the roads.
- My daughter Julie and I recall time together in Princeton, New Jersey, exploring a beautiful campus and one of America’s most fascinating small towns.
- My grandson Lake and I will always remember rafting down the Colorado River and eating Navajo Fried Bread in Arizona.
So, allow me an alternative opinion.
I believe travel, holidays, vacations, time off, Sabbath and time away are hugely important.