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Spiritual Thoughts

It's vacation time

Vacation time has started!

It's a season when many will pack the bags or camper, round up the kids and head out of town to "get some R and R."

A time to "just be me" - but not without the laptop, the cell phone or BlackBerry, the iPod, the portable DVD player and don't forget the Nintendo DS Lite. Isn't it funny how we take it all so that we can "get away from it all"?

Getting away is so important - Scripture is full of examples of Jesus getting away, sometimes with the 12 (and you thought it was tough just taking your four kids to Disney) and sometimes by Himself. I think it's good to see Jesus in these settings.

We can learn some great lessons from His earthly life on how to relax but not retreat.

It's easy to get burned out:

"Weary in well doing" - convert our "business" into busy-ness;

Scheduling demands can leave you dragging to bed at midnight just to toss and turn thinking that it starts all over in the morning;

Problem - The Christian family has adopted the world's priorities.

There was a day in age when events were scheduled around church. Going to worship on Sunday morning was not an option or topic of discussion. ?

Did stores remain closed so people wouldn't buy stuff or was it that wouldn't buy on Sundays?

We get to the point that we say "something has to give" and the first place we look to "trim" from our everyday life is the church, unfortunately. People wonder why God doesn't bless them!

The Church is not the building we worship in, it is the people who gather for worship. The scripture tells us of the power of corporate worship.

Some people say that they can worship God anywhere.


Yet the Bible teaches to assemble together.

Why? Because God knows our fleshly frailty.

How many remembers the "Lone Ranger" series from television?

Sometime we can be the "Lone Rangers" who are really unhealthy individuals who are:

Always wearing a mask;

Showing off on their high horse;

If they do have friends, they can be attracted toward needy people..

Just look at Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Always needing to be freed up or set loose;

Always the follower;

Lone Ranger did his thinking for him.

Somewhere we become to good for standard issue bullets, his had to be "silver."

Remember Silver?

Always looking for a deeper word;

No one is a good or as spiritual unless you do it like me;

The Lone Ranger eventually just rides off into the sunset. Kicks up dust, shoots a few people down then just leaves town.

God doesn't call us to be Lone Rangers. He calls us to be a Body!

We all need time to relax ~ but don't retreat!

Here's a few lessons we can take some lessons from Jesus.

He knew when to get away. There is a time for ministry, for self-evaluation and for renewing the spirit and body. The disciples had just returned from a mission. Jesus needed to spend some time with them to "debrief." He took them to Bethsaida "the fishing place;"

He knew how to stay connected. Even on vacation He took time for people. (a great lesson to the disciples). He had a purpose for leaving and He had a renewed focus when He returned.

Take a vacation, but learn to relax a little every day.

Take time for prayer and Bible reading for it has a purpose. David said, "I meditate on Your Word day and night" and Paul said, "Pray without ceasing"

Praying throughout your day will get you through the day!

Incorporate a little worship into your daily routine.


God dwells in your praise;

Give time to God and He will give you all the time you need;

Seek first God's Kingdom.

Matthew 6:33:

Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.

Righteousness, peace and joy.

So take that vacation.

Relax, yes but don't retreat.

Get away but don't go astray

Unwind but don't decline.

Recess but don't regress.

Get rested but stay invested!

Remember to attend a place of worship while you are away.

Major Grayling Crites is the co-commanding officer and co-pastor of the Salvation Army's Thompson Corps at 305 Thompson Dr. N.

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