We are in the days of vacations, summer events, special outings, and maybe a little extra time with the family. Especially after this season of virus isolation, these days may have a little extra importance. I always love the more leisurely pace of vacations. Time away from the phone, meetings, deadlines, and demands. We need those times. In fact, if we think about it, the word “vacation” means a time to “vacate.” Vacations should be times set aside to empty out, to let go, to pull back, and to relax.

Too often vacations themselves become just another part of our demanding schedule. We try to pack in every possible event and site and activity that is available for fear that we might “miss something.” When we do that, what we actually miss is the very purpose and pleasure of vacation itself—vacating! Don’t allow the American compulsion to “do it all,” to “have it all,” and to “experience it all” turn your vacation into a chore rather than a pleasure. The truth is we can’t do it all, have it all, or experience it all. Even the attempt robs us of real life, joy, leisure, family, and true rest.

A tourist may try to go through a large museum without “missing a thing.” The necessary pace may cause every exhibit to pass before their eyes but nothing enters their heart or enriches their life. If we could learn to take in just a few things, to really take them in, to experience them, to be touched by them, then, we might actually feel the pleasure of life instead of being attacked by the pace of life. What we need is undistracted time with our families, with the wonders of nature, and with the joy of living. I pray you will take a real vacation this summer. Slow down. Be still. Stop. Look. And listen. Listen to the world, to your family, to your heart. Oh yeah, don’t forget in the stillness to listen for the still, small voice of God.

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