Have you had “vacation perseverance” before? You know what I am talking about. I am positive either you or your kids, nieces or nephews have experienced it. It is during a vacation when you keep pushing on and on during the day because you are having so much fun, yet you are SO tired. That perseverance comes because the joy you are experiencing is so worth the hurt and exhaustion that your body feels. Why can’t my mindset be like this all the time? Why do I have to wait for vacation to learn how great perseverance really is?
2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins
Yesterday, Katie pushed on and on throughout the day, trying her best to keep up with her siblings and friends. As Pete and I watched her, we just waited for her ultimate collapse. It seemed imminent, but she just kept persevering on. After dinner, she announced to everyone that it would be a good idea to go night swimming. What? How in the world does this girl have any more to give? She was quite exhausting to watch. Her little curly hair and big eyes just kept going and going and going. You know like the Energizer Bunny. That was Katie. Vacation Perseverance.
For some reason when I am on vacation, I am relaxed, happy (most of the time) and ready to take on the day. I do my best to leave behind my worries at home. Sometimes in this technology-driven world, my worries find me on vacation, but not always. Second Peter (the scripture above) reminds me that if I am truly faithful to God, If I truly want to persevere in life (with joy), then I need the qualities of goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness and mutual affection. Those beautiful qualities when all balanced in life at one time will bring me the closest to Christ that I can ever imagine. The days that I express in my actions and my thoughts all those qualities – well it is one really good day. The chances of me doing that at home (where my worries abound and surround me) are rare. On vacation, the chances become a little higher.
One of the reasons Pete and I have always strived to attend church on vacation is to not only show our kids that we should be grateful to God for all He has given us (which is a good reason), but also to get ourselves back to God. We like to start the vacation off right by letting go of our worries at home and starting anew on vacation. We arm ourselves with the knowledge of scripture and the goodness of God. Our self-control on vacation just seems to fall right into place. We do tend to guide ourselves with God at the front instead of guiding ourselves by what others think or do. We persevere daily on vacation whether it is to keep up with our kids, to run on the beach, or to enjoy the small amount of time we have one-on-one with our kids. I have seen Pete in freezing cold waters braving the chill just to spend time with our kids. Because of all of these characteristics, it just leads Pete and I to Godliness which cannot help but lend itself to mutual affection. We are sacrificing the things in life that we hold dear to show our kids that we love them. That sacrifice leads to mutual affection. Amazing how it matches the scripture!
The problem lies when we return home. All of those great characteristics get pushed aside because of our worries. All of those great attributes get moved over because we don’t live in the mentality of vacation during our daily lives. Why not? I think a big part of it is because society would think we are lazy or hippy-like if we all sat around in vacation mode. We would feel guilty if we lived life daily like a vacation. Our constant drive to achieve at work, school or home would be defeated. The flip side to that is we would be happy, joyful and Godly. Hmmm… So the key is to find the balance. We can be successful without being driven and ungodly. We can find achievement through perseverance and joy. We can become more like a servant-leader at work instead of a dictator. Yes, vacation perseverance can happen even away from vacation. It takes work and change on our part. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but true devotion to God can happen on a daily basis.
2 Peter 2:19-20 People are slaves to whatever has mastered them. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning
Let your vacation be a jump start for you. Open your heart to Godliness, and then pay it forward into your daily life. Free your heart from the slavery of sin that you fall prey to after vacation when you return home to your worries. Make your vacation plans today, and then find a way for your own “vacation perseverance” in your everyday life!