I am about to leave for a vacation with my family for a week. I am excited for many reasons. I will be able to spend some much needed time playing and loving on my beautiful children and wife! I am also praying for something amazing to happen while we are away…namely to be drawn together in the joy of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
I am praying, and hope that you would pray, that our vacation would not just be a time of relaxation and fun! (although we do plan on relaxing and having lots of fun)! I am praying for spiritual revival in my family. I’m praying that our devotion times would be spirit-filled (in the hotel room). I am praying that my children would become more aware of the power of Jesus; I’m praying that we could be revitalized before we trudge through a fall semester that may prove to be draining and demanding.
I guess my point is that vacations can be good and they can be bad. Believe me, I have taken bad vacations! Times when all we do is sleep late and gorge ourselves on food and watch 20 movies that have nothing to do with widening our souls (to fit a gigantic Christ inside)! Good vacations are like times when armies stop and regroup. They need to refuel, and receive more supplies for the coming war. (WE ARE IN WAR EVERY DAY…that war does not stop on vacation by the way). The battle plan needs to be re-visited. Everyone needs to get back onto the same page. Everyone needs to be reacquainted with their general, and have new confidence breathed into their lungs! The Bible is our blue print and our general is a joy giving, satisfying Christ.
One way that I am praying to be reacquainted with the joy-giver is to spend a week with Saint Augustine. What an amazing man! I’m going to be reading a small book entitled Augustine on Prayer, by Thomas A. Hand. Let me just read you a few excerpts from the life of this joy seeking man of God.
“To aim at the happy life, to wish for the happy life, to covet the happy life, to seek it and follow after it, is, I think, the business of all men.”
“But to know where to find this thing desired of all; that is disputed among them, that divides them.”
Augustine could never be satisfied with a little happiness now and then, “like splashes of color against the drab background of daily drudgery.” Fleeting pleasures could never satisfy his questing soul!
The only satisfaction for Augustine (and for you and me) could be found in God. He articulates in this way: “From all this it will readily occur to anyone that the happiness which an intelligent being desires as its legitimate object is the result of a combination of two things: namely that it enjoy the Immutable Good, which is God, without interruption; and that it know with a certainty that it is exempt alike from doubt as from error, that it shall abide in that enjoyment forever.”
So, we are not going on a vacation because it quenches the thirst of our souls (many people do). We are retreating to be replenished by the being that can satisfy our souls. May God be at the forefront of our vacations and our daily activities, and may we not waste ourselves on fleeting pleasures. We were made to stand against a glorious Christ and be dwarfed by beauty and majesty! That is true pleasure and enjoyment…and it glorifies God! Have a wonderful week!