YOU MAY NEED A VACATION IF…
The last time you took a vacation to the Grand Canyon, it was a shallow ditch with a creek running through it.
The radiation from your monitor has burnt your shadow onto the wall.
You wake up hoping that the pain in your gut is appendicitis so you can have abdominal surgery and can miss work.
You answer your home phone using the company's name.
You dial "9" from your home phone to get an outside line.
Your accumulated vacation hours would allow you to retire 10 years early.
The vending machine asks, "Want the usual?"
You wake up in a hotel room on a business trip and have no idea where you are or why.
You don't steer your car while driving to the office because it knows the way itself.
Your computer has been upgraded twice since you took your last vacation.
You find yourself shouting, "Honey, I'm home!" when you arrive at your cubicle in the morning.
Your children put your picture on milk cartons.
You dream about your job.
You run your ID badge through the mail slot in your front door and wonder why the door doesn't open.
Antacid tablets are your primary source of nutrition.
Your cubicle is better decorated than your home.
The janitor vacuums you in the evenings.
You attempt to log in to your microwave oven.
The last message in your "Out of Office" reply says you will return on a date that occurred three years ago.*
Who needs a vacation? The short answer is: “All of us do!” I realize that there are those who may differ with me on this. For instance, I once knew a minister who used to delight in the fact that he never took a vacation. He was fond of justifying his stance by saying that the Devil never takes a vacation. Sadly, sometime later, I watched him go through a terrible ordeal. In essence, he went through what might rightfully be called “burnout”. And burning out often leads to crashing!
On a fairly regular basis, when working on my laptop, a notification will pop up indicating that my machine has gotten dangerously low on power, and instructing me that that I need to plug into an external power source immediately, so as not to lose my work. I have decided that much the same is true for how human beings operate. From time to time, we all need a little recharging.
So, no, the Devil may not take a vacation. But the Word of God is replete with examples of Godly individuals who did. These men and women took time out to get away and refresh themselves - to charge their batteries. In the Old Testament, Moses met God while alone in the wilderness. In I Kings 17, Elijah went off into the wilderness to Kerith Brook for an extended period of time. Between his time there and then at Zarephath, he was gone from his ministry for three and a half years. He did this specifically at the bidding of God, who told him to go there and be refreshed.
The same is true in the New Testament. Holy men like John the Baptist often went into the wilderness to be alone with God. Galatians 1:17 tells us that the Apostle Paul too went apart into Arabia for three years. Even our Lord Himself went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. More than this, He regularly went apart by Himself for time alone with God. That He clearly did this in order to recharge His mental, physical, and spiritual batteries is evident by the Biblical picture of angels ministering to Him in His needs.
For my part, I am not advocating three year long vacations. But I have enjoyed being a way for a few days. Along with our kids, my wife and I were able to see a part of the world we had never seen, to spend some at the beach, to visit an amusement park, and to enjoy a meal or two out at a nice restaurant. Along the way, we also managed to increase our tribe by welcoming a new daughter-in-law into the family. (At last count, that now makes us the “Jackson 7”.)
More importantly, I was able to clear my mind of the daily and weekly commitments, which so often are comprised of little more than “the little foxes that spoil the vine”. By getting away from the repetitive tedium of my daily routine, I was able to spend a little quality time alone with the Lord. Having now done so, I can testify to how amazing this is for the refreshment of one’s spirit.
So, while I look forward to returning to the office and to the pulpit, I know I am better off for having had a short vacation. And I know the same will be true for you as well. If you have not yet had a little time away for yourself, I hope you get it soon. I assure you that you will be better off for it. For the answer to the question of who needs a vacation is really that we all do!